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Used and broken electronic products have become a major problem for landfills nationwide. Most electronics contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, beryllium and brominated flame retardants. When old electronic equipment is thrown into landfills, these toxic materials can leach into the soil and contaminate groundwater, posing a threat to human health and the environment. E-waste has also been linked to increases in air pollution.
Computers and televisions, particularly those with old-fashioned cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are particularly rich in toxic contaminants. With the United States throwing out an estimated three million tons of used electronics every year, it's no surprise the EPA blames e-waste for 70 percent of all toxic contaminants currently in America's landfills.
State and federal governments are addressing this threat through legislation and regulation. Many states now require e-waste be handled like or more stringently than paint, solvents, insecticides and other household hazardous wastes (HHW). Twenty-five states now mandate e-waste recycling, and more have similar legislation.
WM's Product Recovery Group (PRG) is committed to proper management of electronic waste. All nine PRG eCycling facilities hold these certifications:
These certifications demonstrate our adherence to stringent environmental, quality, worker safety and socially responsible practices when recovering and processing e-waste containing hazardous components. All collected electronic products and wastes are processed in the United States.