Toxic E-waste Grows Globally, Recycle Your Gadget (infographic)

Written by David Michaelis

Toxic E-waste is growing at a fast rate globally, and you are probably a major contributor. Did you already buy your Christmas E-gadget gift? Make sure to recycle your old one. — Toxic e-waste is growing at lightning speed around the globe, and you are probably a major contributor. Did you already do your X-mas shopping? Maybe you purchased some steals from aNewDomain’s hot deals list? That’s alright, no need to fret, but please, please please detox your office, your home, your everything right after you open those shiny new gadgets.

By “detox” I mean recycle. I talked about the details of recycling a while back. The majority of consumers still simply throw their old electronics into the trash. They don’t know that many of the materials in their phones are easily recyclable. Take those slightly buggy phones, with their dwindling charge and cracked screens, and recycle them.

Indian Youth Dismantles Electronics

Third world countries are your waste basket. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The average American disposes of a mobile phone every two years. And only one out of ten of these phones are being dismantled and recycled correctly. That means 90 percent of mobile devices in the U.S. are sitting unused or slowly polluting a landfill. Or, much worse, they are dumped on a third world country.

Magnitude of Threat

The global population is around 6,854,000,000. One can only imagine, then, the magnitude of the danger when 61 percent of the world’s population are mobile users — equaling roughly 4,180,000,000 cell phones. Additionally, most of the mobile users do not use their mobile for more than one year. So that could be roughly 4 billion toxic units a year.

Recycle UN Initiative

Image Credit: E Step UN Initiative

So, where do these devices go? Unfortunately, landfills take the majority of the discarded units, which heavily pollutes the ecosystem and wastes materials that could be re-used. Approximately 65,000 tons of mobile phone devices are discarded every year, from which 6.5 Eiffel Towers can be made!

“The global volume of electronic waste is expected to grow by 33% in the next four years, when it will weigh the equivalent of eight of the great Egyptian pyramids. This according to the UN’s Step initiative, which was set up to tackle the world’s growing E-waste crisis. Last year nearly 50 million tons of e-waste was generated worldwide — or about 7 kilograms for every person on the planet. These are electronic goods made up of hundreds of different materials and containing toxic substances such as lead, mercury.”

See more on this here.

The latest global numbers are scary. When you unwrap that new piece of tech make sure to recycle your now-defunct one. Don’t let it end up in a landfill.

For, I’m David Michaelis.

Based in Australia, David Michaelis is a world-renowned international journalist and founder of Link Tv. At, he covers the global beat, focusing on politics and other international topics of note for our readers in a variety of forums. Email him at

Infographic credit:


  • Who are these people that just throw valuable gadgets and computers away? I don’t think I’ve ever done that. Old phones and gadgets get sold on ebay, old computers usually get passed along to a friend or relative, or sold on ebay.