Friday, May 8, 2009

Recycling Your E-Waste: Does it matter?

There are not better examinations of e-waste (electronic waste) than can be found in watching two films: Disney Pixar's Best Animated Film "Wall-E" and the award-winning documentary "Manufactured Landscapes." Both tell the tale of overwhelming trash -- one fictional, the other not.

According to Pike Research --

"... the e-waste crisis will worsen over the next several years until 2015, when volume will peak at 73 million metric tons. However, the firm forecasts that global volumes will decline in 2016 and beyond, as a number of key e-waste initiatives begin to turn the tide.

“'Key weapons in the war against e-waste include government regulation, electronics industry initiatives, and consumer awareness,' says managing director Clint Wheelock."

One of the problems, noted in the report is the dependence on voluntary efforts by consumers to recycle their e-waste and not just throw it away. The problem is expected to be overcome largely by public education and awareness of the hazards and responsibilities of e-waste.

Also, as more electronics manufacturers take out toxics from their products and create gadgets that can be more easily recycled, this can also be a boon to reducing e-waste. Greenpeace keeps track of this movement with its Guide to Greener Electronics.

What may help consumers is the improving ease by which their electronics can be recycled. If you have many options to recycle e-waste around you, similar to other general recycling, then it becomes an easier task to get electronics to a recycler.

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