Computer Waste or “e-waste” is rapidly becoming a major problem for our world’s waste stream, due mostly to the toxicity and quantity of these unwanted televisions, computers and computer components. The toxins used in the manufacture of these components include brominated flame retardants, cadmium, lead, lithium, mercury, phosphorous coatings, and PVC plastics that create dioxins when burned. The quantities of the products are staggering and growing each year. Many of these unwanted components are shipped off to third world countries with little or no environmental regulation. What are some ways of alleviating the possible environmental and economic problems ...view middle of the document...
6. Flat panel computer monitors and notebooks often contain small amounts of mercury in the bulbs used to light them.
7. Cathode ray tubes in older TVs and computers typically contain about 4 lbs of lead and sometimes as much as 7 lbs.
8. The European Union banned e-waste from landfills in the 1990s, and current laws hold manufacturers responsible for e-waste disposal.
9. Large amounts of e-waste have been sent to countries such as China, India and Kenya, where lower environmental standards and working conditions make processing e-waste more profitable. Around 80 % of the e-waste in the U.S. is exported to Asia.
10. E-waste legislation in the United States is currently stalled at the state level. Just 24 states have passed or proposed take-back laws. However, as of January 1, 2011, covered electronics are completely banned in West Virginia.
11. Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include, but are not limited to:
* Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes
* LCD desktop monitors
* Laptop computers with LCD displays
* LCD televisions
* Plasma televisions Portable DVD players with LCD screens
Once the facts are known much could be done to change the end result. Many computer manufactures are creating recycling programs or “end loop programs” for their products. Acer, Apple, Dell, Epson, HP, IBM, Lexmark &NEC are all major manufactures who have recycling programs for their products. . Many of these programs were developed to meet The State of Maine and other States/Nations legislation and guidelines.
States have been creating legislation to govern the e-waste and create guidelines on how to dispose of it. However there is no Federal mandate to recycle e-waste The European Union has enacted laws governing e-waste in the 1990’s....