I want to raise awareness about one of the largest waste problems in the world, electronic waste.
E-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. The world produces 50 million tons of electronic waste each year where 80% ends up in landfills or gets shipped to countries that are still growing.
E-waste shipments occur in countries, mostly in Asia and Africa. These destinations allow uncontrolled e-waste shipments where people can sell e-waste parts; these countries have no e-waste legislation, making them attractive destinations. This can create serious environmental and human rights issues that affect the health of those working in the urban mines and their communities. A lot of times children are disassembling these electronics and become exposed to very toxic materials that cause serious developmental issues and more serious wildlife and environmental issues in these communities.
What can we do? We should focus on making our devices last and not needlessly upgrading. Also, ensuring that you do not throw away your electronics in the trash, you can set up a free electronic collection appointment with the City of Gainesville & Gainesville IT Recycling Process so you can confidently recycle your e-waste.
Julia Vanbuskirk, Gainesville Zero Waste Legislative Intern, Seaside Sustainability
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