Computers fastest-growing waste

Australians will throw 1.6 million computers into landfill this year. Another 1.8 million will go into storage—adding to the 5.3 million already gathering dust.

“E-waste” (junk computers and other electronic goods) is now one of the fastest-growing waste categories, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Australians buy 2.4 million personal computers and more than a million TVs annually. But while we now recycle 46% of our waste, the stockpile of obsolete electronics keeps growing. Only half a million computers will be recycled this year.

1 Comment

  1. According to the New York Times yesterday, Americans threw out 2.5 million tons of “e-waste” last year, only 10% of which was recycled.

    “Every old computer monitor contains about four pounds of lead, and other parts are filled with heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, cadmium and chromium,“ the article says. “They have toxins that hover in the air after incineration or leach into the water supply when buried in landfills.”

    Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh say there’s 60 million old computers in landfill around the US.

    Six US states have passed laws which require e-waste to be recycled, and more are expected to follow in 2007.

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