How does electronic recycling actually work where does your old electronics go and what happens to them?

Where does recycled electronics go?

In California, it is illegal to put electronic equipment in the trash. Many electronic devices contain toxic chemicals that can leak from the landfill and contaminate groundwater and soil. Electronics can be recycled at your local household hazardous waste drop-off facility for free, or at participating stores.

How are electronics disposed of?

Generally speaking, the e-waste recycling process consists of five basic stages: collection, toxics removal, preprocessing, end processing and disposal [3]. … After reaching the recycling site, dangerous components that require special treatment (e.g., batteries, Freon) are removed.

Where do electronics end up?

If you choose to toss your old electronics in the trash instead of disposing of them properly, they will most likely end up in a landfill. Electronic waste currently accounts for 2% of the trash found in U.S. landfills, however it also accounts for 70% of the overall toxic waste.

What happens when you recycle a device?

What happens to the leftovers? Phones deemed unfit to remain whole are likely to get dismantled by a recycling facility, with the bits and pieces sold into the commodities market. Nickel, steel, glass, and plastic materials are still valuable, either whole or melted down and turned into something else.

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What happens to your old electronics?

When these electronic devices are properly recycled the precious materials are sold for profit and turned into something new. For instance, cell phone batteries can be used to make new smartphones and batteries, while zinc and aluminum from laptops and tablets can be used for metal plates, jewelry, cars or art.

What do recycling centers do with electronics?

Waste electrical and electronic equipment are collected at council recycling centres and at some retailers. It is then taken to a reprocessing plant where they are shredded into small pieces.

Why is electronic waste a problem?

There are also problems with toxic materials leaching into the environment. These practices can expose workers to high levels of contaminants such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic, which can lead to irreversible health effects, including cancers, miscarriages, neurological damage and diminished IQs.

Who should be blamed for e-waste?

Legislation typically follows two basic models for e-waste disposal. Under the extended producer responsibility model, used in 24 states, the manufacturer takes responsibility by paying to collect and recycle the products covered under law, with the products covered varying widely from state to state.

Does any of your waste go into the ocean?

About 90 percent of all the plastic waste that reaches the world’s oceans gets flushed through the rivers, littering, windblown waste, industrial waste, and municipal waste. Once the plastic gets into the sea, it decomposes very slowly.

How do the toxins in e-waste return to the United States?

Introduction. The hazards of e-waste begin with planned obsolescence. … The United States will not only protect the children of China, but also protect American children by ending the cycle of e-waste toxins returning to the United States in the form of contaminated products like lead paint and costume jewelry.

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