Why Donate Your Computer

Last week, I found a computer on the curb and felt bad someone was willing to throw out a perfectly functional machine when many people could really use it. I’ve already advised you on how to safely and thoroughly remove all your personal files from your computer. Now here’s why you should keep your computer out of the landfill (thanks BestStuff for your list!).

E-Waste Statistics You Should Know:

1. About 220 million tons of old computers and other tech hardware are trashed in the United States each year (Environmental Protection Agency, 2001).

2. About 63.3 million desktop computers will be taken out of service in the year 2002, and 85 percent of them will end up in landfills across the country, constituting an ever-growing environmental hazard (National Safety Council, 2001).

3. By the year 2005, one computer will become obsolete for every new one put on the market (Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, 2001).

4. Fifty percent of computers being recycled are in good working order. They are discarded to make way for the latest technology (Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, 2001).

5. Experts estimate that we will have more than 500 million obsolete computers in the United States between 1997 and 2007 (Poison PCs).

6. Five hundred million computers in the world contain 6.32 billion pounds of plastics, 1.58 billion pounds of lead, and 632,000 pounds of mercury (The Basel Action Network, 2002).

7. The average lifespan of a computer has shrunk from four or five years to two years (National Safety Council, 1999).

8. About 70 percent of heavy metals found in U.S. landfills comes from discarded electronics such as circuit boards, wires, steel casings and other parts (The Basel Action Network, 2002).

9. Only 12.75 million computers, including monitors and keyboards, will be recycled in the United States in 2002 (The Basel Action Network, 2002).

10. Americans are buying more computers than people in any other nations. Currently more than 50 percent of U.S. households own computers, and therefore, generate the most e-waste (The Basel Action Network, 2002).

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