- According to a new report, The Global E-waste Monitor 2014: Quantities, Flows and Resources, the volume of electronic waste discarded around the globe reached 41.8 million tons in 2014. Less than one-sixth of that was considered to be reused or recycled properly.
- The report, released by the United Nations University, concluded that almost 60% of e-waste generated worldwide was comprised of kitchen, bath, and laundry appliances.
- Two countries, the U.S. and China, disposed of almost one-third of the world’s total volume of electronic waste last year.
Computers, cell phones, printers, and other technology made up 7% of the waste; small household appliances like microwaves and toasters accounted for 12.8 million tons of waste; screens made up 6.3 million tons of waste.
The 41.8 million tons of electronics tossed in 2014 had a potential value of $52 billion worth of reusable resources. The report estimates that electronic waste thrown out in 2014 had approximately 16,500 kilotons of iron, 1,900 kilotons of copper and 331 tons of gold, not to mention quantities of silver, aluminum, and palladium.