CNET tours an e-waste recycling center that disassembles electronics on site for downstream recycling to ensure that e-waste is handled responsibly and personal data is destroyed.
WORCESTER, Mass.–The electronic waste piling up in our closets and basements holds valuable material that could be used to make something new, as is the case with old newspapers and plastic bottles. The challenge is ensuring that e-waste gets recycled without threatening public health.
Earlier this week, I took a tour of a small electronics recycler here that caters to people who want to be sure that their e-waste is handled responsibly, rather than be shipped to a destination with unknown or unverified practices. The center, operated by Metech Recycling, provided a peek into how everyday products find a second life and shed some light on the challenges of .
As of 2008, the Consumer Electronics Association estimated that an average U.S. household owns 24 electronics products, a number which is likely growing given the proliferation of digital goods. Yet the rate of electronics recycling is lower than other municipal solid wastes, with TVs and computer products recycled at a rate of 18 percent by weight and cell phones at 10 percent from 2006 to 2007, according to the EPA.
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