As new electronic gadgets become available, electronic wastes begin to pile up. Unfortunately for Californians, most consumer electronics, including computer monitors, cell phones and TV sets are banned from disposal into landfills. Most of these electronics contain toxic materials such as lead, copper and cadmium. Only 10 percent of e-waste is recycled nationally and Californians dump over 450,000 tons of e-waste in 2006. Because of this, e-waste collection has become a booming business in the state. There are now over 500 collectors and 62 recyclers of e-waste in CA. Martin Zimmerman of the LA Times reports.
Household junk notwithstanding, e-waste recycling is a growth business in California these days. The amount of e-waste, which includes the packaging, generated each year in the United States grew by 17% from 2000 to 2005, making it the fastest-growing source of solid waste on the planet, said John Shegerian, chief executive of Electronic Recyclers International Inc. in Fresno.
Among the drivers are the changeover to new, feature-laden cellphones â€" Americans toss out 130 million mobile phones a year, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates â€" and the rapid replacement of TVs and computer monitors that use cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, with flat-panel devices.
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