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Why recycle electronics?

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  • A string of car burglaries linked by a manufacturer flaw

    A string of car burglaries linked by a manufacturer flaw

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-08-26 22:01:36 GMT
    It's something Johnson City Police said they've never seen before.Police said starting in late July there's been a string of car burglaries with GM SUVs.In the last month this has happened to seven in Johnson City, four in Bristol, and none so far in Kingsport.One local GM dealer, Tim Copenhaver, told me with the more recent models from 2007 up to 2014 it's easy to cut the power off from the outside. He said he suspects thieves are going up under the front right wheel and cutting the electric...More >>
    It's something Johnson City Police said they've never seen before.Police said starting in late July there's been a string of car burglaries with GM SUVs.In the last month this has happened to seven in Johnson City, four in Bristol, and none so far in Kingsport.One local GM dealer, Tim Copenhaver, told me with the more recent models from 2007 up to 2014 it's easy to cut the power off from the outside. He said he suspects thieves are going up under the front right wheel and cutting the electric...More >>
  • Baby in critical condition after being left in trash can

    Baby in critical condition after being left in trash can

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:43 AM EDT2014-08-27 06:43:08 GMT

    Neighbors found the infant Tuesday, after hearing a sound coming from their trash can. 

    More >>

    Neighbors found the infant Tuesday, after hearing a sound coming from their trash can. 

    More >>
  • FL mother: 911 didn't help baby locked in hot car

    FL mother: 911 didn't help baby locked in hot car

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-08-26 22:17:20 GMT

    A 10-month-old accidentally locked himself inside a hot car, and his mom says a 911 dispatcher didn't immediately send help.

    More >>

    A 10-month-old accidentally locked himself inside a hot car, and his mom says a 911 dispatcher didn't immediately send help.

    More >>

Electronics are complex devices which are made of a wide variety of material constituents. Some of the constituents, such as lead, nickel, cadmium, and mercury, could pose risks to human health or the environment if mismanaged at their end-of-life.

EPA is very concerned about ensuring the proper management of used electronics and has undertaken important work to increase the collection and responsible recycling of used electronics.

As for managing electronics disposed in the US in landfills, we believe that disposal of electronics in properly managed municipal solid waste landfills does not threaten human health and the environment.

The results of landfill leachate studies, suggest that currently allowed disposal of electronics — including those containing heavy metals — in modern municipal solid waste landfills are protective of human health and the environment.

However, we strongly support keeping used electronics out of landfills, to recover materials and reduce the environmental impacts and energy demands from mining and manufacturing.

Electronics are made from valuable resources, such as precious metals, copper, and engineered plastics, all of which require considerable energy to process and manufacture. Recycling electronics recovers valuable materials and as a result, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce pollution, save energy, and save resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the earth.

For example:

  • Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 US homes in a year.
  • One metric ton of circuit boards can contain 40 to 800 times the concentrations of gold ore mined in the US and 30-40 times the concentration of copper ore mined in the US.
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