Top 10 Facts about e-Waste
Much of what is labeled as e-Waste is actually not waste at all, but whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.
In 2018, over 50 million tons of electronic waste was created.
The United States is No. 1 worldwide in terms of e-Waste produced annually. Americans throw around 9.4 million tons of electronics every year.
In the U.S. alone, over 140 million cell phones are thrown into landfills every year. If all the cell phones were recycled, it would save enough energy to power 25,000 households for one year.
In every 1 million recycled cell phones 35,274 lbs. of copper, 772 lbs. of silver, 75 lbs. of gold, and 33 lbs. of palladium can be recovered.
Annually, Americans throw out phones containing over $60 million in gold and/or silver.
Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year.
One ton of circuit boards are estimated to contain 40-800 times more gold and 30-40 times more copper than one metric ton of mined ore.
e-Waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste.
The amount of global e-Waste is expected to grow to 120 million tons by 2050.