When I read Brook Larmer’s article: “E-Waste Offers an Economic Opportunity as Well as Toxicity”Image” I was very surprised. According to the article the US generates 42 pounds of e-waste per person per year. For our 2-person household, our PC, laptop, cellphones and TV would barely amount to 100 pounds. We don’t replace those items very often. Something seemed off.
So I did a little googling on the UN University site, finding this: “The weight of e-waste generated worldwide in 2016, including used refrigerators, TVs, personal computers and cellphones, was up by 8 percent from 2014, when the previous study into the problem was conducted.” http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201712140050.html
Turns out UNU defines e-waste as anything that uses electricity, not just electronic gear. (http://collections.unu.edu/view/UNU:6120)In answer to my question--I don't think so. Maybe in the future when everything is on the internet, but not now.
Including all kitchen appliances, lamps, etc. in “e-waste” certainly gives a bigger headline figure, but are the problems in recycling appliances really the same as in handling cellphones and laptops?
I should also note that this isn't peculiarly a failing of the environmentalist movement; everyone and her brother do it.