Electronics waste an environmental test

November 11, 2007

U.S. environmental groups and consumer electronics groups warn electronic waste is adding dangerous levels of lead to the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency said U.S. residents tossed 2.2 million tons of electronics equipment into landfills in 2005, with only about 15 percent of that being recycled.

Some environmental analysts say the disposal of electronics poses a considerable threat to the environment, CBS News reported.

"Our laboratory studies that we did showed the lead leakage from these was quite significant," said John Schert, executive director of the Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management at the University of Florida.

The EPA used Schert's analysis to designate cathode ray tubes from television sets and monitors as hazardous waste, highlighting the challenge to handle electronic waste effectively.

Sony recently took the initiative to start a nationwide recycling program to handle its electronics waste,CBS reported.

"Our goal for this program is also for every pound of product we put on the market, we want to take a pound back," Mark Small, Sony's vice president for environment, told CBS.

The program allows consumers to take their electronics waste to select waste management "e-cycling" centers.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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