In 2009, More Than
of US consumer
e-waste was

land filled

EPA, 2010

Recycling metals
10% of the
used for
mining metals

UNU, 2009

One Third
of the silver and copper mined
is used to
produce electronics

UN, 2009

1 ton
of cell phones contains
as much gold as
70 tons
of gold ore

UNU, 2009

of the energy a
computer consumes comes from its
rather than
its use

UNU, 2004

Electronic waste is the
fastest growing
waste stream
in the world

EPA, 2008

Less Than
of rare earth metals are
currently recycled

EPA, 2011

Sourcing metals for electronics
more than
30 million
tons of CO2
every year

UN, 2009

There are more
rare earth metals
in land filled electronics than in
all known
global reserves

Nature Materials, 2011

70% of all
toxic metals
in US
come from


Every day,
US consumers dispose of
enough cell phones
to cover
over 50
football fields

EPA, 2011

of all platinum group metal &
rare earth mining
took place
in the last
30 Years

WRAP, 2012

Guiyu, the global capital of e-waste,
has the
highest ever
recorded levels
of dioxins

ES&T, 2007

Less than
of global e-waste
any form of

GIS Watch, 2010

Guiyu, China
4000 tons
of e-waste 
every hour

ES&T, 2009

Every day,
US consumers dispose of
Enough TVs
to fill
more than

600 trucks

EPA, 2011

Copper disposed
annually in
is equivalent to 
a third of
global copper

European Commission, 2009

More than
a billion
cell phones
are sold
every year

Gartner, 2012

$12 Billion
is spent annually
to identify new virgin

EPA, 2011

Today’s technology revolution is changing the way we interact with our world forever. In its wake, a mammoth trail of c.50m tons of electronic waste (“e-waste”) is produced every year. This is the fastest growing waste stream in the world.

In the U.S., consumers alone dispose of some 3.2 million tons of e-waste annually; more than 80% ends up in the trash, contributing >70% of all toxic metals in U.S. landfills.

Globally, it is estimated that only 13% of e-waste undergoes some form of recycling; an overwhelming proportion of e-waste is dumped in the developing world. Guiyu, China, the international capital of e-waste, receives about 4,000 tons per hour. Due to the toxicity of e-waste and informal recycling methods, over 88% of Guiyu’s population suffer from severe neurological or physiological disorders.