Electronic waste, or e-waste, is any old or unwanted electronic gadget that gets tossed in the garbage. Those gadgets sometimes wind up in city landfills, where they take their toll on the environment, authorities said.
"Certain electronics have certain types of heavy metals and lead that you want to handle in an environmentally conscious way,"said Recycle America plant manager Mark Jordan. "More people are aware of needing to recycle their electronics so we're doing more and more all the time."
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 20 million personal computers became obsolete in 1998, and only 13 percent were recycled. That's an awful lot of metal, glass, and other materials. Some of those materials are considered hazardous and need to be handled as such.
Environmentally speaking, if you wouldn't bury it in your backyard, you probably shouldn't throw it in your garbage, Jordan said. Your best bet is to take your e-waste to a local e-cycling center and let the pros handle it, he said.
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