Sunday, June 22, 2014


I spent yesterday at my local Sam's Club -- not inside, but in the parking lot. Twice a year, I volunteer at an e-waste recycling day there that is sponsored by my local club and an organization called Recycling Jackson. I've been doing it for many years. A side note - my husband, a.k.a. "Captain Nature," is the board chairman for RJ as well as a conservation and recycling enthusiast. He's turned me into one as well.

It's amazing what people get rid of -- thankfully, many (but not enough) are recycling, rather than throwing out this stuff. For the first time in I don't know how many years, we were inundated with mostly televisions -- and some really not that old.

Yes, I know flat screen and similar type televisions are the norm today -- except in my house. We don't watch a lot of television. But seriously -- do we always need the best and greatest the minute it hits the market? Based on what I saw yesterday, I guess the answer is "yes." Okay, I'm not going to get people to stop buying electronics the minute a new one appears on the retail horizon. But, do me a favor and read these recycling facts and statistics by, a social change organization for young people.

Then recycle the electronic device you are replacing. It's not that hard to do.

  1. 1. 80 to 85% of electronic products were discarded in landfills or incinerators, which can release certain toxics into the air.
  2. 2. E-waste represents 2% of America's trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste. The extreme amount of lead in electronics alone causes damage in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood and the kidneys.
  3. 3. 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.
  4. 4. Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver. Americans dump phones containing over $60 million in gold/silver every year.
  5. 5. Only 12.5% of e-waste is currently recycled.
  6. 6. For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 lbs of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium can be recovered.
  7. 7. Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.
  8. 8. E-waste is still the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America, according to the EPA.
  9. 9. A large number of what is labeled as "e-waste" is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.
  10. 10. It takes 539 lbs of fossil fuel, 48 lbs of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.
11. Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include, but are not limited to:Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes, LCD desktop monitors, LCD televisions, Plasma televisions, Portable DVD players with LCD screens.

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