HomeBlogInfographic: What Happens When Electronic Waste is Thrown Away?

Infographic: What Happens When Electronic Waste is Thrown Away?

April 20th, 2022

Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, is the trash created by discarded electronic devices, or a lot of the things related to creating or keeping those devices up and running. So yes, it’s your phone, but think about your headphones, charger, and other accessories too.

We all love our devices, but e-waste is the fastest growing waste type in the world — and the U.S. produces a lot of it. How much? Let’s look at the numbers.

Infographic about e-waste: 59 million tons of e-waste were produced around the world in 2019; Roughly 7 million tons of e-waste was produced in the U.S. alone — that’s 46 pounds per person!; Only 15% of the e-waste produced in the U.S. was recycled; $7.49 billion in raw materials was thrown away in 2019; Recycling 1 million laptops saves enough electricity to power more than 3,500 U.S. homes for an entire year; Recycling 1 million cell phones recovers: 35,000 lbs. of copper; 772 lbs. Of silver; 75 lbs. Of gold; 33 lbs. of palladium; Apple is the most recycled tech brand in the U.S., accounting for 47.4% of all recycled devices; Samsung is the second-most recycled tech brand in the U.S., accounting for 33.9%

E-waste is a growing problem — and we don’t just mean the stuff piling up in the corner of your home office. But by waving goodbye to planned obsolescence and making your devices last longer (or responsibly reselling or recycling them when you’re ready to move on), you can make a difference and help keep waste to a minimum and help save the planet. And who knows? You might even make a little money doing it. Plus, there are electronics recycling options close to nearly every community.

On the hunt for a better high-speed internet provider so you can lose those used laptops and find your nearest recycling hub? EarthLink has you covered. With multiple home internet options to choose from and predictable billing, we can find you the right connection.

Erin Ellison

Erin Ellison

Erin Ellison is the Director of Content Marketing for EarthLink. Her superpower is translating complicated tech jargon and concepts into language we can all understand. Erin has more than 15 years of writing experience for businesses, agencies, and the media. She currently lives and works in Atlanta.

See all posts from Erin Ellison.