Print 10 comment(s) - last by JediJeb.. on Dec 17 at 9:12 PM

The U.S. dumps the most e-waste today

A new study released by the United Nations (UN) shows that electrical waste (also known as e-waste) is expected to pile up significantly in the coming years, and the U.S. is a large contributor. 

According to the study, e-waste is expected to increase by a third by 2017. More specifically, e-waste is predicted grow from almost 48.9 million metric tons (53.9 million tons) in 2012 to 65.4 million metric tons (72.09 million tons) in 2017. 

Of that total e-waste last year, the U.S. contributed the most with 9.4 million metric tons. The numbers look even worse when it comes to per capita, with the U.S. dumping almost 30 kilograms (66 pounds). The global average is 7 kilograms (15 pounds) per person. 

China came in second with 7.3 million metric tons total for 2012 and 5.4 kilograms (12 pounds) per capita. 

E-waste, which is any device with a battery or cord, can be harmful to human beings and the environment due to the substances they contain. The study suggested that e-waste exports be better monitored in the future, as many e-waste items have ended up heading to Hong Kong, Latin America and the Caribbean in the past. 

The report was based on data regarding discarded products in several countries and estimates of how long these products last. 

Source: Yahoo News

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Gee, I wonder why...
By ewhite06 on 12/16/2013 2:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
Of course the US leads the way in E-Waste. We have cell providers encouraging no, begging, us to replace our phone every year now. Even though those phones will function for several years easily. Most of the old phones end up in a drawer or thrown away. Maybe we should stick VZW/AT&T/T-Mobile/Sprint with them. Then they have to deal with disposing of them. Then they might not be in such a hurry to sell us a new phone. /climbs down off soapbox

RE: Gee, I wonder why...
By JediJeb on 12/16/2013 2:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
Just waiting for a disposal fee to be added to the phones like it is to tires. I think I paid $5-$10 per tire the last time I bought new tires back in the summer.

I guess I am one that has not contributed to the e-waste fad with my cell phone since I am still using my Moto V3 I bought back in 2005. Upgrading phones every year is just a waste of money pure and simple.

RE: Gee, I wonder why...
By HostileEffect on 12/17/2013 2:37:34 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not easily parted with my devices. I hope to use my RAZR maxx till it literally stops working, afterwards I'll decorate my man cave with it.

Laptops, watches, computers and parts from before I was even born... maybe its an obsession but I don't throw my rigs out. Yes, I'm that creeper who's place looks like a hackers room from some obscure anime... however, I am anything but...

RE: Gee, I wonder why...
By jeepga on 12/16/2013 8:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
Even though those phones will function for several years easily

What phones are you buying? I'm lucky if the Motorola ones I've had from Verizon last through the contract term. So far only one has. (It's not from wear and tear or negligence it's from broken digitizers, keys that stop working, internal shorts, etc.)

RE: Gee, I wonder why...
By JediJeb on 12/17/2013 10:29:30 AM , Rating: 2
Since about 1993 I have owned a total of three cellphones.

An Okidata 800 series

A Nokia 5110

and my current Moto V3 RAZR (Black)

I upgraded the first time to go from essentially a fixed car phone to something really portable. The second upgrade was because they were phasing out analog and going to digital. Each time my phone was still working but was at least 5 years old if not older. The V3 is needing a new battery soon so if I can't get one, I may have to upgrade again though I really don't want to because this phone makes great calls and gets good signal in places many others don't.

Of course if I upgrade I will probably end up losing my 5000+ rollover minutes I have accumulated lol.

RE: Gee, I wonder why...
By Spuke on 12/17/2013 10:56:24 AM , Rating: 2
I've thrown away one phone and that's because it was physically damaged (it was a flip phone and it no longer flipped) and no recycling phones back then. The others I've either sold or given away. I also either sell or give away my other electronics and computer stuff for the most part (some stuff I have thrown away). And I'm not a hoarder, I don't keep stuff I don't use. With tech stuff I typically don't have really old stuff anyways, I like to be somewhat relevant (although my main TV is an 8 yo DLP).

RE: Gee, I wonder why...
By JediJeb on 12/17/2013 9:12:44 PM , Rating: 2
Now I feel very irrelevant, my TV is a 31" Mitsubishi I bought in 1995, still going strong.

I'm calling BS
By CaedenV on 12/16/2013 6:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
I work for a (granted small) refurbisher/recycler and while donation numbers continue to go up and up year over year, our weight going out is declining every single year.

The reason? Computers don't weight what they use to. Take a 10 year old computer and you are looking at a 15 pound device plus a 25 pound CRT. With a 5 year old computer you are looking at a 10-15 pound device and maybe a 15 pound LCD monitor. Then look at today's equipment and you are looking at a 15-20 pound all-in-one or a 5 pound PC with a 10 pound LCD monitor.

Laptops have also dramatically fallen in weight. For years they were capped at 10 pounds because that is all that people would tolerate, but new systems are weighing in at 2.5 pounds, and things like tablets and phones are weighed in at just a few hundred grams.

We have certainly peaked when it comes to consumer ewaste going out because we peaked at weight and replacement rates over 5 years ago.

And servers have had an even more dramatic reduction in weight. What use to require a whole room of racks can now fit in a mostly empty U4 server. Sure Google, Amazon, Facebook, and the NSA continue to purchase and turn over tons of scrap with whole buildings of equipment every year, but they are the dramatic minority compared to all of the small to large businesses in the US that replace equipment every 5 years and are able to purchase LESS equipment with each upgrade to keep up with demands and growth.

RE: I'm calling BS
By inperfectdarkness on 12/17/2013 8:53:15 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I would speculate that the vast majority of the "oldest" e-waste being thrown away is from the business sector. Most individual consumers have ventured away from traditional desktops in the past several years. Tablets, smartphones and laptops have given greater portability--and non-portables in home use are usually restricted to multimedia/server functions...roles which typically don't carry much turnover.

I suspect that in the next few years, we'll continue to see a DECLINE in e-waste volume & weight...commensurate with the life-cycles of newer, smaller computing devices. In fact, because we've somewhat "plateaued" at a level of hardware performance that is "good enough" for most everything the average consumer will throw at it--I don't expect to see nearly as many people upgrading regularly in the future either.

I'd like to hear about what % of e-waste is Apple products, vs. the % of Apple products actually sold. I'd bet its higher. Something tells me that non-iTards keep most of their devices longer.

Daily Dose
By Reclaimer77 on 12/16/13, Rating: -1
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
Related Articles

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki