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e-Waste Disposal Methods in US

March 11th, 2013 · No Comments

In this article we will tell you about e-waste disposal methods in US. Methods are given below.

Can you imagine this year one out of every three Americans will discard their old cell phone to purchase the latest version of mobile phone? Nevertheless, many other persons would be looking forward to discarding their obsolete computers, televisions and other electronic devices. It is estimated that around 130 million mobile phones and 3 million tons of other electronic gadgets like televisions, laptops and computers are retired annually.

According to Environmental Protection Agency of United States (UNEP) almost 2-3% of the municipal waste comprises of e-waste and out of which only 15-20% is recycled. Whereas most of the e-waste goes to the incinerators and landfills thus polluting the nature or some of the e-waste was shipped to the developing countries like India, China, Pakistan and Malaysia.

However, in 2008  legislation was introduced in some of the US states for totally banning of the e-waste export to the developing countries. Now the emphasis is laid mainly on the proper e-waste disposal and for the prevention of contamination at abroad and home both.

e waste disposal

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In order to deal with the current situation US has adapted certain e-waste disposal methods, so let us peek into these methods.


This is the most common methodology of e-waste disposal. Soil is excavated and trenches are made for burying the e-waste in it. An impervious liner is made of clay or plastic with a leachate basin for collection and transferring the e-waste to the treatment plant. However, landfill is not an environmentally sound process for disposing off the e-waste as toxic substances like cadmium, lead and mercury are released inside the soil and ground water.

Acid Bath

Acid bath involves soaking of the electronic circuits in the powerful sulphuric, hydrochloric or nitric acid solutions that free the metals from the electronic pathways. The recovered metal is used in the manufacturing of other products while the hazardous acid waste finds its ways in the local water sources.


This is a controlled way of disposing off the e-waste and it involves combustion of electronic waste at high temperature in specially designed incinerators. This e-waste disposal method is quite advantageous as the waste volume is reduced extremely much and the energy obtained is also utilized separately. However, it is also not free from disadvantages with the emission of the harmful gases mercury and cadmium in the environment.

Recycling of e-waste

Mobile phones, monitors, CPUs, floppy drives, laptops, keyboards, cables and connecting wires can be re-utilized with the help of the recycling process. It involves dismantling of the electronic device, separation of the parts having hazardous substances like CRT, printed circuit boards  etc. and then recovery of the precious metals like copper, gold or lead can be done with the help of the efficient a powerful e-waste recycler. The most crucial thing here is choosing the right kind of recycler that does not break laws and handle the e-waste in the eco-friendly manner.

Nowadays, there are many e-waste recycling companies coming up with the pick up facilities collecting obsolete electronic items from your homes. Moreover, they are also running several recycling programs for the users, retailers and manufacturers for the collection of the electronics. Certain agencies such as EPA, Earth 911, eCyclingCenter, Call2Recycle, GreenerGadgets and Electronic Industries Alliance are the additional resources for helping people in finding the nearby drop off locations.

Reuse of electronic devices

This is the most desirable e-waste recycling process where with slight modifications the mobile phones, computers, laptops, printers can be reused or given as second hand product to the other person. The old electronic equipment can also be donated in the various charity programs and thus helping the persons in need. Moreover, there is a better way also by selling the old mobile phones or laptops to the some recycling and refurbishing companies. Several websites are acting as the middleman between recyclers and electronic users. It is a win-win situation for the users as they not only get rid off the old mobile phones but also get paid after reselling it.

Tags: Environment