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What is Electronic Waste..???

General Information on E-Waste/Electronic Waste

How much electronic waste is in the waste stream?

Used consumer electronics represent less than two percent of the municipal solid waste stream. In 2005, discarded tv’s, pc’s, peripherals (including printers, scanners, faxes), mice,keyboards and cell phones totaled about 2 million tons. Of that, about 80-85% (1.5 to 1.9 million tons) was discarded, primarily in landfills.

How much e-waste is recycled?

In 2005, discarded tv’s, pc’s, peripherals (including printers, scanners, faxes), mice,keyboards and cell phones were recycled at a rate of about 15-20 percent (345,000 to 379,000 tons). The recycled/disposed split remained fairly constant between 1999-2005.Although recycling continues to increase, the percentage recycled remains constant because of the ever-increasing number of electronics available for end of life management.

How many consumer electronics are still in use or storage, of those sold since 1980?

Almost half (or 976 million units) of products sold between 1980 and 2004 are still in use or reuse. Nine percent (180 million units) of products sold between 1980 and 2004 are still in storage.

How much e-waste is exported?

To date, we have only examined export of CRTs. In 2005, approximately 61 percent (about 107,500 tons) of CRT monitors and TVs collected for recycling were exported for remanufacture or refurbishment. The next largest portion, about 14 percent (or 24,000 tons)was CRT glass sold to markets abroad for glass-to-glass processing.

What are the substances of potential concern in electronics?

Lead, mercury, cadmium and brominated flame retardants are among the substances of
concern in electronics. These substances are included in the products for important
performance characteristics, but can cause problems if the products are not properly managed at end of life.

Lead is used in glass in TV and PC cathode ray tubes as well as solder and interconnects;older CRTs typically contain on average 4 lbs of lead (sometimes as much as 7 lbs in olderCRTs), while newer CRTs contain closer to 2 lbs of lead.Mercury is used in small amount in bulbs to light flat panel computer monitors and notebooks.

Brominated flame retardants are widely used in plastic cases and cables for fire retardancy; the more problematic ones have been phased out of newer products but remain in older products.

Cadmium was widely used in ni-cad rechargeable batteries for laptops and other portables.Newer batteries (nickel-metal hydride and lithium ion) do not contain cadmium.PVC is used in wire and cable sheathing.