Washington State is working hard to at least recycle e-waste (computers, cell phones, televisions) through their E-Cycle Washington program. But, I would love to see a proactive approach by manufacturers to “reuse” the shell somehow. It seems as if the size of the units are now very close to the same as previous version such as flat screen televisions, iPhones, etc. Probably not practicable—would certainly cut down on the amount waste, though.
For more information on the Washington State electronics recycling program, visit E-Cycle Washington.
My laptop is nearing the end. Will be looking into the recycling program to avoid adding to the heap. According to the EPA’s 2009 figures (the year the program began in Washington), 82.3% of the 3.19 million tons of e-waste generated in this country ends up in landfills or incinerators, where dangerous toxins can leach into groundwater or get released into the air. The portion collected for recycling is largely exported to developing countries, which lack regulations to protect workers or the environment. In Washington, millions of pounds of unwanted electronic products were heading to landfills each year.
E-Cycle Washington has helped to change that by providing a comprehensive and convenient network of free collection sites. For the new program, the manufacturers have voluntarily committed to using recyclers who meet preferred standards developed by the Department of Ecology.