E-Waste Part 1

Does this look familiar?

Does this look familiar at all?

Do you have any old TVs, computers or cell phones in your basement?  Garage?  Closet?

You know you can’t just “throw it out” like any other trash, and yet what do you do with it?

E-waste is becoming a huge problem.  Consumers are buying more and more consumer electronics, always upgrading to a newer, better, faster something.  Did you stop to think what’s inside those things?

FACT:  In some of the old CRT TVs, the EPA has estimated there is between 4-8 POUNDS of lead.  (No wonder they are so heavy!)

These electronics are filled with toxic materials, and don’t think that the newer “green” products are any better!  Most of the time these “green” electronics just consume less electricity.  Good on grid, yes…bad at the end of the product life cycle.

Think you are RECYCLING it?  Maybe…but the problem is that millions of tons of e-waste is  exported and dumped in developing countries every year under the guise of recycling.  Leave it to the U.S. to let someone else deal with our trash!  (sorry, I’ll stop the rant)

So, what’s a conscious minded consumer to do?

  1. Try to use the old electronics.  Can you put that old TV in the basement with a DVD player?  Or play video games on it?
  2. Find a responsible recycler, who does NOT export.  Go to and look for one in your area.
  3. Buy electronics from responsible manufacturers – those who actually take back their old products and dispose of them without exporting.  (LG, Sony…we’ll talk about this in PART 2).

Millions of TVs are being purchased this year in anticipation of the TV digital conversion.  E-waste is going to continue to grow as an environmental and public health hazard until we decide to get responsible and also hold manufacturers accountable.  Maybe if they had to deal with the problem at the end of the life cycle, they’d create products that weren’t so toxic?!

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One comment on “E-Waste Part 1

  1. Sandy Lenthall
    September 6, 2008

    If there are stockholders in any of the companies, particularly television right now with the change to digital, use the power of your voice and vote to insist that the company be responsible for the collection, reuse or RESPONSIBLE disposal. If enough voices joined together, the chorus might be heard.

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This entry was posted on August 14, 2008 by in Medium Green and tagged , , , , .

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