Lewis Diuguid

Electronic waste keeps growing

What U.S. household doesn’t have an old television set that families would love to replace with a new flat screen TV this Christmas?

A lot of holiday sales certainly encourage many people to toss the heavy old televisions and haul in the new ones. The same goes for replacing old computers with newer, faster models with more memory as well as sleeker cellphones and tablets. But that out with the old, in with the new adds to the mountains of what’s now being called e-waste.

Discarded electronic devices worldwide are expected to grow from 48.9 million metric tons in 2012 to 65.4 million metric tons by 2017, a United Nations study says. The waste is a problem because of the toxic substances the electronics contain.

Not surprisingly, the United States tops the list of nations dumping e-waste with 9.4 million metric tons in 2012. China comes in second with 7.2 million metric tons, U.S. News & World Reports says.

The Environmental Protection Agency in 2005 counted 1.9 million to 2.2 million tons of e-waste in the U.S. So the piles of e-waste definitely keep going up with no end in sight.