The fastest growing waste stream on the planet

The screen you’re reading this off of now will one day become electronic waste. Often abbreviated as e-waste, electronic waste is any discarded electronic device, including ones meant for repair or recycling. In academic circles, e-waste is also called waste electrical or electronic equipment, or WEEE for short.

Examples of e-waste include smartphones, laptops, tablets, mp3 players, computer screens, e-readers, headphones, data sticks, and even household electronics like electronic kitchen gadgets or children’s toys that light up or play music. In short, everything with a cord or battery, once discarded, becomes e-waste.

These gadgets contain a host of various components and pieces, some valuable, some toxic, and some both. Some of the valuable materials that make up e-waste are:


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By the Numbers

  • 20,000 lbs. of copper
  • 550 lbs. of silver
  • 50 lbs. of gold
  • 20 lbs. of palladium

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