3 Solutions to Electronic Waste

Recycle your old toxic electronics that just seem to unavoidably create clutter.

| March/April 2005

Few Westerners could survive without their Macs or PCs, but the environment could use a break from old computers.

The problem

Nearly 250 million computers will become obsolete in the next five years, according to the EPA. Discarded electronics (e-waste) can contain toxic lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and fire retardant. Of particular concern are the cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in computer monitors, which contain high concentrations of lead. Though the EPA considers each of these materials dangerous, household electronics aren’t classified as hazardous waste and aren’t subject to federal regulation. Therefore, in most states it’s up to individuals to decide the fate of discarded equipment.

The solutions

1. Donate. 

Give an operable computer to a local family, friend, school, or nonprofit such as Goodwill or Technology Training Foundation.

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