A recent article from slashgear.com (found HERE) says that although there is a big movement in the United States towards preventing electronic waste from ending up in a landfill, the federal government has offered almost no guidelines for recycling electronics.
According to the article, “Back in 2011, 460,000,000 pounds of electronics were recycled. The numbers for 2012 look even better when compared to the amount of electronics recycled in 2010 when only 300,000,000 pounds were collected. The CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) also notes that by the end of 2012, 99% of the recycling handled by initiative participants was conducted via third-party certified recycling facilities. The electronics recycling initiative has a lofty goal of responsibly recycling 1,000,000,000 pounds of electronics annually by 2016. It’s a good thing that the Consumer electronics Association and the participants in its initiative are taking the task of electronics recycling upon themselves, because there is still no federal recycling mandate for electronics.”
There was an Executive Order regarding federal electronic assets (government IT equipment) that states that government agencies should try to re-use their equipment, or recycle them through an R2 recycler. Although AnythingIT does process a number of large government agencies electronic waste, there was no order regarding the private sector.
This is particularly distressing to environmental activists, since the recovery of precious metals found in electronic devices can drastically reduce the amount we mine from the earth every year. One mobile phone battery contains 3.5 grams of copper. Recycling 6,000 mobile phones produces approximately 130kg of copper, and .34kg of gold.
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