1. Leaching - occurs when water move through units of trash in a landfill, carrying contaminents with it, and pools into the surrounding environment.

2. E-waste - term used to describe all electronic equipment that has been disposed of.

Please read the reports prepared by USF students on the dangers involved with the disposal of PCs and CRTs. These reports can be found under the downloads section of this website. Please think about the environment before simply tossing away unwanted PCs and CRT monitors.

Are you kidding me?

Do you really have no other option? Allowing PCs to end up in the dumps is very damaging to our environment.

For every new computer a consumer buys, another old computer will need to be disposed of. In 2000 alone, more than 4.6 million tons of e-waste entered landfills in the United States (Mayfield, 2003). Once in a landfill, the computer can be left to break down naturally, which leads to leaching1 into the environment which pollutes the earth and groundwater, or it can be placed into an incinerator and burned. After the trash containing the computer is burned, the ash goes back to the landfill. When burning, the gas is captured in an exhaust scrubber and routed back into the treatment plant and/or into the atmosphere (Bryson, 2009).

With a proper recycling method, harmful toxins and gases can be kept out of our environment. If not, e-waste2 will continue to accumulate in dumps and landfills, typically in developing countries. It seems like a far away problem, but suppose the disposal processes done in those countries occurred in your neighborhood; could you ignore it then?

However, if e-waste items are recycled, not only will these harmful environmental effects be prevented, but the need to constantly extract raw material from the environment can be cut down. Companies can save money by just using the recycled material instead of needlessly spending capital on mineral extraction. Also, wouldn't it be nice to be able to breathe in clean air without having to worry about toxins and pollutions that can shorten your lifespan or cause health issues? Indeed, it's safe to say that the greatest benefit of e-waste recycling would be the safeguarding of the broad world we call home.