How to limit e-waste from those old devices after the holidays

From phones and laptops to the latest headphones and smart watches, it’s out with the old and in with the new during the holiday season — and that means a lot of e-waste.

Across the U.S., more than 151 million phones are trashed each year and 40% of heavy metals in landfills are old electronics.

Last year, we saw 54 million tons of e-waste globally, a 21% jump compared to the previous year, with only 18% of e-waste properly recycled.

“There’s no tipping point in sight so every year more electronic waste arises in the market,” said Pascal Leroy, the director general of the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Forum, or the WEEE Forum.

One way to ease the growing problem is to make sure you buy new products that are recyclable and can be easily repaired. Donating unwanted electronics will also make a difference. Making sure your new ones are made in ways that don’t hurt the environment could also go a long way.

“We are asking people to be mindful about their shopping behavior. If you take these different considerations, you are likely to make the right decision,” Leroy said.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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