Should E-waste Be Collected Curbside?


According to a new survey by Pike Research, 35 percent of consumers think electronics should be collected in curbside recycling programs.

More than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents think recycling is the proper way to dispose of e-waste, and 14 percent are willing to pay to recycle it.

And while you’re out shopping for the newest technology this holiday season, have you thought about how many obsolete electronics you have lying around the house?

Pike’s survey also found that the average consumer has 2.8 unused electronic devices sitting around the house.

Earlier this year, Pike released a separate study claiming that e-waste would plateau at around 73 million metric tons by 2015, and then decline as recycling programs are able to catch up to manufacturing efforts.

Especially during the holidays, when our waste output can increase by as much as 25 percent, ensuring that you recycle your old gadgets before replacing them with this year’s latest and greatest models is a must-do.

One of the primary concerns with improper disposal of electronics is that they contain toxic metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury. They also have valuable metals like gold, which means they are sometimes broken apart without proper safety measures and toxins are released.

“The consumer is an integral link in the chain for electronics recycling and e-waste management,” said Pike managing director Clint Wheelock.

“In order for the industry to achieve its goals, consumer values, attitudes, and behavior will need to support responsible handling of end-of-life electronics equipment.”

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Trey Granger

Trey Granger

Trey Granger is a former senior waste stream analyst for Earth911.
Trey Granger

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