Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Promoting Pollution Prevention Through Information Exchange
GLRPPR Sector Resource: Fact Sheet: Management of Electronic Waste in the United States
Electronic equipment has become a mainstay of our American way of life. In one way or another, it is an integral part of everything we do and own: TVs in our homes, GPS's in our cars, cell phones and MP3 players in our ears, blackberries and video games in our hands, and computers in our laps and on our desks. The electronic industry generates nearly $2 billion a year, and it's no small wonder. Americans own nearly 3 billion electronic products. For each new product that comes along, one or more becomes outdated or obsolete. Consequently, we're storing or discarding older electronic products faster than ever. In 1998, studies estimate about 20 million computers became obsolete in one year. In 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that between 26-37 million computers became obsolete. Along with computers, TVs, VCRs, cell phones, and monitors--an estimated 304 million electronics--were removed from US households in 2005, with about two-thirds of those still in working order, according to Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) estimates.
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