E-Waste: What Gets Recycled

E-Waste: What Gets Recycled

Amid all the headlines about retail profits and consumer confidence this holiday season, far less attention has been paid to the huge volumes of waste generated by skyrocketing sales and rapid turnover in high-tech electronics.

In contrast to other waste streams such as industrial effluents and air pollution, the rapidly growing electronic waste (e-waste) stream is largely uncontrolled and lightly regulated, relying on a patchwork of corporate "take-back" initiatives, state and local recycling programs, and a handful of (mainly European) e-waste policy directives.