The Inconvenient Truth About Electronic Waste.

Via Lynn Hasselberger
on Feb 16, 2012
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We export enough e-waste each year to fill 5126 shipping containers (40 ft x 8.5 ft each).

If you stacked them up, they’d reach 8 miles high–higher than Mt Everest, or commercial flights. Exported to poor countries, the stuff is taken apart for metals in horrific working conditions.

This—plus weak labor standards in China and many of the other developing countries where e-waste is sent—means that women and children are often directly exposed to lead and other hazardous materials.

Then there’s the stuff that remains here. In the United States, an estimated 70% of heavy metals in landfills comes from discarded electronics.

You’d think there’d be a law for discarding e-waste but, to date, there’s no Federal mandate. There are, however, 20 states and one municipality with e-waste laws. Find out if your state is on board here:  National Electronics Recycling Infrastructure Clearinghouse.

Check out Annie Leonard’s  Story of Stuff Project video, The Story of Electronics (great to share with kids):

What you can do…

  1. Treat your electronics with TLC in order to extend the lifespan.
  2. Recycle your electronics. Not sure how to do this? Refer to the Recycle It Right guide from The Story of Stuff Project. You can also register with ecycler to find someone who may actually pay you for your used electronics. Or, visit to find a recycling location near you.
  3. Buy greener electronics. GreenPeace’s Guide to Electronics is a great resource. For energy-saving products, to to
  4. Buy refurbished electronics.
  5. Take a minute before you accept that cell phone upgrade. Do you really need it?
  6. Share this post with friends and family via facebook, twitter or large—but not overly obnoxious, preferably used—bullhorn from a mountain (preferably one that still has its top intact).

* originally posted on my blog, I Count for myEARTH.

photos: manowar064 via


About Lynn Hasselberger

Lynn Hasselberger is co-founder of GDGD Radio; The Green Divas Managing Editor; and Producer of The Green Divas Radio Show. She's also a mom, writer and award-winning cat-herder who lives in Chicagoland. Sunrises, running, yoga, lead-free chocolate and comedy are just a few of her fave things. In her rare moments of spare time, she blogs at and A treehugger and social media addict, you'll most likely find Lynn on twitter (@LynnHasselbrgr @GreenDivaLynn & @myEARTH360), instagram and facebook. She hopes to make the world a better place, have more fun, re-develop her math skills and overcome her fear of public speaking. Like her writing? Subscribe to her posts.


4 Responses to “The Inconvenient Truth About Electronic Waste.”

  1. Considering 70% of toxic waste which contaminates soil and drinking water is electronic waste, each country needs to take responsibility for managing their own e waste. With the current global economic problems and across the board unemployment, investing and growing a solid green economy including e waste management just makes good sense. Jennifer Train @ Going Green Today (dot) com.

  2. Jina Verplanck says:

    I just bought a Cruz t103 at Big Lots and tried to upate it. Followed the instructions at the website. Everything was looking good until the installation said that the Esignature failed. I’ve seen this problem reported before but I haven’t seen and answer or at least a workaround. Any thoughts?

  3. Electrician says:

    I say you it is right work for electronics waste. If some one use the right place which pick in the electrical waste i am sure it will be best for all and electrical world because they can repair from the waste. Thanks!!!