E-Waste Recycling Turns Phones Into GoldBy: Zach Walton - March 11, 2012
We throw things away. It’s just part of being a consumer culture. If a phone breaks or we’re done with the current technology, we can either sell it or throw it away. Unfortunately, the majority of American seem to think they can only throw away that old cell phone.
Today’s infographic from Server Monkey seeks to inform Americans of all the technology they’re throwing away and how to reduce their e-waste. From computers to keyboards, it seems that the majority of consumer technology that Americans use is thrown away every year. The stats are somewhat alarming considering just how many computers are sold every year. What does the average consumer do with their old computer once they buy a new one? Well, according to this infographic, only 39.7 percent of Americans actually recycled them. That’s a majority of computers in this country just being thrown away to end up in some landfill.
The amount of precious metals in cell phones is the most surprising though. Your phone is a veritable gold mine that also contains silver, palladium and copper. Although your phone has to be part of a mass recycling of 1 million cell phones to get 50 pounds of gold, it doesn’t seem that much when you consider how many cell phones there are in the world right now.
Of course, the main problem when it comes to e-waste is the pollution and poisons that seep out of them over the years. It’s especially worrisome considering that rain can bring these poisons into rivers which can get into our drinking water. Some of the worst materials to come out of e-waste are mercury, lead and arsenic.
While you probably learned the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) in elementary school, e-waste goes by the RRS (Repurpose, Recycle and Sell) method. I personally suggest going with the sell tactic especially with all the great deals coming from retailers who want your old iPad 2 on the eve of the new iPad launch.
Infographic via: ServerMonkey.com, the Industry Leader for Refurbished Servers