Frequent Questions

Does EPA think e-waste is an environmental crisis?

EPA would call the e-waste situation an important challenge, both in its own right and in the way that it will help to illuminate new ways we will be managing waste in the future. EPA shares the concerns of environmentalists, states, local governments, and many others including many in business that we should be trying to find a better way to deal with mounting quantities of electronics waste, other than dumping them in landfills or incinerators or sending them to processors that do not follow environmentally sound recycling practices, regardless of location.

This is an important test case for resource conservation. We see policy makers at the state and local level beginning to respond to it creatively. We see manufacturers beginning to make important design changes that will help to reduce the environmental footprint of electronic products over time. We see recyclers and communities starting to work independently and in partnership with progressive retailers and manufacturers to put into place new kinds of collection and management systems to deal with this waste.

We are actively encouraging reuse and recycling of electronics as a wise resource use and a means to reduce the environmental impacts that result from constantly extracting virgin materials and manufacturing new products.

More information on e-waste can be found at: 
http://www.epa.gov/osw/partnerships/plugin/index.htm  
http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm

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