National Geographic

VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers

Menu

Visualizing the Growing E-Waste Epidemic

We’ve written before about the growing problem of e-waste (electronic waste), which threatens to pollute our soil and water with toxic materials (we even have a handy quiz about e-waste). Fortunately, electronics manufacturers, recyclers, and governments are increasingly taking notice, and are taking steps to reduce and mitigate the problems.

At the same time, the march of technology is accelerating faster than ever, as computers continue to fall in price and make their way into an ever growing range of products, from appliances to cars and much more. As more people around the world buy cell phones, the number of castoffs increases.

To responsibly recycle your used electronics, check out Earth911.com, or give the friendly folks at Server Monkey a call at 713.430.2182.

Check out this cool infographic on e-waste from Server Monkey:

The Growing E-Waste Epidemic [Infographic]
Infographic via: ServerMonkey.com, the Industry Leader for Refurbished Servers

 

Brian Clark Howard is a writer and editor with NationalGeographic.com. He was formerly an editor at The Daily Green and E/The Environmental Magazine and has contributed to many publications, including TheAtlantic.com, FastCompany.com, MailOnline.com, PopularMechanics.com, Yahoo!, MSN and elsewhere. His latest book, with Kevin Shea, is Build Your Own Small Wind Power System.

Comments

  1. Codie Lee
    London
    March 24, 4:36 am

    You definitely should know where your e-waste goes if you really care about the environment. I’ve recently read a very interesting United Nations report, according to which, 70% of electronic waste globally generated ended up in China, where it is recycled with primitive tools and methods which destroy the local environment. Most of that e-waste is transferred from developed countries like the United States illegally. Here is a link to the report:

    http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/assessing-and-improving-the-e-waste-problem-in-china

    And, here is a link to a responsible and licensed electronic waste carrier in case you need a reliable way to get rid of used electronics: http://www.tomsjunkcollectors.co.uk/electronic-waste-disposal/

  2. [...] According to the Geographic, heavy metals that these common forms of e-waste are contributing to American landfills include lead, cadmium, beryllium oxide and arsenic– a devil’s brew of long-lived poisonous substances that do not degrade in the environment, and that bode ill for the future drinkability of American groundwater. http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/03/14/visualizing-the-growing-e-waste-epidemic/ [...]

  3. Shailesh Telang
    Pune
    August 27, 2012, 7:54 am

    In India, many tourist destination suffering from solid waste. The rate of waste generation in such places ruining aesthetic values of these regions. Government of India is now considering this serious issue. Most of the local residents are also turning serious about it. The local people now realized the ill effects of pollution which would one day threaten the very existence of the their place itself. In Nainital, a popular tourist destination in India, a petition was filed against the growing pollution in Naina lake. The same information is available here http://greencleanguide.com/2011/12/19/sustainable-tourism-a-case-study-of-nainitaluttarakhand/

    Thanks!

  4. [...] is this an eco-friendly choice? Yes. Electronics manufacturing and disposal is notoriously toxic. You will be doing your part to reduce, if ever so slightly, this heap of e-trouble, and you will [...]

  5. [...] Source [Newswatch National Geographic] [...]

  6. Vineet
    Nagpur, India
    March 16, 2012, 7:15 am

    Hi,
    E-waste has gradually climbed to the the top of the priority list for the waste management think-tanks around the world. With our affinity to the gadgets increasing by the day, the volume of electronic waste occupying our offices and residence have also been spiraling.

    Countries like China, India and Brazil which are emerging as the new economic blocks have virtually sidelined the menace of e-waste on our future generations – barring a few recycling agencies involved. We need a global e-waste management standards to be integrated into the manufacturing-to-disposal cycle.
    A recent snapshot of the Indian e-waste nightmare can be seen here:
    http://www.greenarth.com/blog/e-waste-stashing-the-right-way

    Thanks
    Vineet

  7. [...] about the increase in electronic waste, the National Geographic posted an infographic that was visually misleading. I reproduced a graph using the numbers from their [...]

  8. DaringData
    March 16, 2012, 12:21 am

    [...] about the increase in electronic waste, the National Geographic posted an infographic that was visually misleading. I took the numbers and reproduced a [...]

  9. [...] down how big the problem has become in not just the United States, but around the world.Source:http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/03/14/visualizing-the-growing-e-waste-epidemic/ Posted by Makin at [...]