More electronic waste, and only 1/6th recycled

Apr 19, 2015 11:21 pm
The Guardian reported last week that the world discarded a record 41.8 million tons of electronic waste in 2014, according to a report from the United Nations University, the UN’s educational and research branch. Norway was worst on a per capita basis, with 62.5 pounds per person generated there. The United States and China created the bulk of the waste, almost one-third of the world's total. Those countries were followed by Japan, Germany, and India, in terms of bulk electronic waste. Of all that trash, only 1/6th of that is recycled. And that's even with, the UN report notes, 300 tons of gold hidden among the 41.3 million tons. “Worldwide, e-waste constitutes a valuable ‘urban mine’ – a large potential reservoir of recyclable materials,” said UN under secretary-general David Malone. “At the same time, the hazardous content of e-waste constitutes a ‘toxic mine’ that must be managed with extreme care.” Mobile phones, calculators, personal computers, and printers, make up only seven percent of items deemed "electronic waste," with kitchen items taking up the most room in the trash. Read the full story in The Guardian.