The total mass of electronic waste in the US has been on the decline for the past six years, according to a recent study. This study made us understand that the future of electronic waste and laws concerning the recycling of waste.
One of the major factors that led to this great decline can be attributed to the disappearance of big, cathode-ray tube televisions and monitors from homes.
CRT displays have been decreasing in the waste stream since 2011 and this has resulted in the general decline in the total mass of the electronic waste. The reduction in CRT displays shows that the regulations of electronic waste may have to be revisited, according to a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Callie Babbitt.
She maintained that many of the e-waste recycling laws target only product mass. Meeting these targets will only become harder as the total e-waste mass reduces. Babbitt further explains that these regulations were put in place in order to ensure that electronics having high lead and mercury are kept out of landfills.
However, the major concern is how elements such as indium or Cobalt can be recovered. These elements which are regarded as environmentally harmful are not common in the Earth’s crust, so the inability to recapture these elements for recycling is wasteful. The recycling system if the electronic waste has struggled to continue with the changing nature of electronics.