E-Waste is Recyclable
Most consumer electronics contain valuable materials like copper, gold and zinc that can and should be recycled. A recent Yale University study confirmed that extractable metals in the Earth's crust may be threatened with depletion if the usage per person continues to rise.
Printed Wiring Boards (PWB) contain the highest value metals as well as some of the most toxic metals found in electronics scrap. There are 10 to 100 times more precious metals in PWBs than in an equal weight of ore taken from a mine. The majority of electronic devices are currently being recovered for precious metals and copper.
Increasing the recycling rate of all electronic devices is not only imperative for protecting public health, but also for conserving natural resources. The challenge for California and the rest of the planet is educating consumers, developing a convenient infrastructure and covering the costs. According to a 2008 U.S. EPA E-Waste Report, less than 20% of consumer electronics are currently recycled.