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Illinois becomes 25th state to pass an e-waste ban | Tips For Recycling
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Illinois becomes 25th state to pass an e-waste ban

In January, 2012, Illinois will join the ranks of New York, Vermont, California and 21 others as the 25th state to ban e-waste from its landfills after passing their electronic waste recycling act.

Why ban e-waste?

  1. To stop toxins from hazardous waste components from leaking into the environment.  Electronics can contain the following:

    • Lead – causes damage to the central nervous system, the circulatory system and the kidneys.

    • Mercury – causes renal disease, heart disease and brain damage.

    • Cadmium – accumulates in kidney tissue and causes cancer.

    • Beryllium – when inhaled, may cause pneuomonia-like symptoms which can lead to death.

    • Chromium – causes skin irritation and stomach ulcers in short-term exposure. May cause liver, renal and nerve damage in high doses or over longer periods of time.

    • Arsenic – a known carcinogen.

  2. To reclaim precious metals.

    • Nickel – remaining global supply estimated at 90 years.

    • Copper – remaining global supply estimated at 61 years.

    • Lead – remaining global supply estimated at 42 years.

    • Zinc – remaining global supply estimated at 30 years.

    • Tantalum – remaining global supply estimated at 30 years.

    • Indium – remaining global supply estimated at 10 years.

  3. To create jobs.

    • Recycling = Jobs reported that a 75% recycling rate could generate more than 1 million jobs over the next 30 years.  Other US studies estimate that for every 1,000 tons of e-waste recycled 30 jobs are created.

In the current age of technological advancement, with cell phones and computers becoming obsolete almost as quickly as they hit the shelves, manging our e-waste is becoming ever more important.  Sales of electronic devices have more than doubled in the last decade. Much of this is due to the increase in the marketing of mobile devices, 70% of which have reached their end-lives within 7 years.  The US EPA estimates that in 2009 there were 26,800,000 tons of electronics at end-of-life. This number can be expected to increase as our dependence on mobile devices and computer technology continues to grow.



Waste & Recycling News

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