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What are you doing with your e-waste?

In a couple of days, millions of people will be getting new electronics to replace their outdated electronics. It’s a fact of life. Hopefully the older models will get renewed life in the hands of others, but many computers, TVs and cameras will be thrown by the wayside. E-waste is a major problem, as landfills have become overloaded with electronics that subsequently break apart leaving hazardous chemicals to leach from landfills into groundwater and streams.

On January 18, 2014 city residents are invited to drop off their e-waste (along with their Christmas trees) from 9am to noon at Honeywell Specialty Materials, located at 20 Peabody Street near Elk Street in Buffalo. This is your chance to safely get rid of all of the broken or outdated electronic components that you have collected throughout the year.

*Used electronics accepted at this free-of-charge recycling event include:  computer systems (CPU’s, monitors, mice, keyboards, printers and scanners), cell phones, digital cameras, video cameras, fax machines, wires, televisions, gaming systems and components, video games, VCR’s, DVD players and small appliances.  Participants must certify that their items are household generated, as commercial waste will not be accepted.

Following are some frightening facts that I discovered on www.DoSomething.org:

80 to 85 percent of electronic products were discarded in landfills or incinerators, which can release certain toxics into the air.

E-waste represents 2 percent of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70 percent of overall toxic waste. The extreme amount of lead in electronics alone causes damage in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood and the kidneys.

20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.

Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver. Americans dump phones containing over $60 million in gold/silver every year.

Only 12.5 percent of e-waste is currently recycled.

For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.

Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.

E-waste is still the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America, according to the EPA.

A large number of what is labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.

It takes 539 pounds of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor

Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include, but are not limited to:
Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes
LCD desktop monitors
Laptop computers with LCD displays
LCD televisions
Plasma televisions
Portable DVD players with LCD screens.

Lead image: GreenPeace

*For those unable to attend the January 18th event, the city of Buffalo will collect Christmas trees from the curb for city residents during the week of January 6th to January 10th.

Also, it is important to note that during the week of Christmas 2013, Wednesday’s garbage and recycling will be picked up on Thursday and Thursday’s garbage and recycling will be picked up on Friday and Friday’s garbage and recycling will be picked up on Saturday. In the same way, during New Year’s week 2014, Wednesday’s garbage and recycling will be picked up on Thursday and Thursday’s garbage and recycling will be picked up on Friday and Friday’s garbage and recycling will be picked up on Saturday. All other scheduled garbage pick-ups will remain the same.

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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