Addressing the Growing E-Waste Problem

E-waste, by definition, is anything with a cord or a battery, especially rechargeable batteries. This includes appliances like electric stoves, microwaves and televisions. It’s also technology like computers, laptops and cell phones.

E-waste can be a problem when it comes to not being recycled properly.

“Computer parts being such a huge concern during the pandemic CPUs, GPU, all that dye and everything that goes into those parts are just as hazardous as any household electronics when they go into the ground,” said Kelvin Shaw from eRecycle in Traverse City.

Shaw went on to say that e-waste can contain things like lead or mercury even though it only accounts for 2% of waste. The trash or landfills could actually cause about 70% of toxic waste.

“The United States generates billions in waste every year as well. Now if we drill down even further, and we say Grand Traverse County, which is approximately 100,000 people multiply the number of people by 81, Grand Traverse county has 8 million pounds of waste,” saw Shaw.

But there is a way to recycle e-waste, like dropping it off to eRecycle in Traverse City. Shaw does say that it isn’t always going to be free to recycle though.

“In some cases it costs money to properly recycle,” said Shaw. “The problem is many of these cases are properly handled and those electronics materials they had to be shipped down to another state where they have the facilities that they can properly recycle 20 or 50 bucks or whatever perfect for recycling.”

In Grand Traverse County on September 18, there is the Clean Up Green Up event happening where you can recycle your electronics, appliances and also other things like mattresses and tires

Categories: Earth Day, the four