The surge in e-waste over the past decade is having alarming effects on our environment, especially in developing countries. According to the United Nations, humans generated over 46 million tons of e-waste in 2014, a number that is estimated to increase to 55 million tons per year by 2018.
So where does it all go? A small percentage, around 15%, is recycled. But you may be surprised to learn that the majority ends up in developing countries. Companies or unscrupulous "recycling" operations export — often illegally — large amounts of e-waste containing toxic materials to landfills in these nations, at the cost of hazardous conditions to their citizens.
Chris Carroll of National Geographic recalls Accra, Ghana, where “small children are burning plastics off copper wiring, breaking copper yokes off television sets, releasing lead, cadmium and other neurotoxins and carcinogens into the air, all for the pursuit of little profit.”
Operating an environmentally responsible ITAD program helps reduce your impact on the environment and preserves natural resources. If that’s not enough to motivate you to think about your e-waste and IT asset disposal practices, here are some startling statistics on the impact of e-waste.
Environmentally responsible ITAD
- The Carrot & the Stick: Why Your Company Needs Environmentally Responsible ITAD
- IT Asset Disposition: What Happens When I Sell My Used Technology?
- PC Makeover: Program Aims to Make Refurbished Electronics More Attractive as Global e-Waste Stream Swells