E-waste is clearly defined as “consumer and business electronic equipment that is near or at the end of its useful life” (CalRecycle). E-waste has become a continuously growing environmental crisis mainly due to mass volumes of waste burning and toxicity to nearby dumps. Most of our San Francisco bay area communities have available electronic waste recycling centers funded to correctly and legally dispose of all components from electronics. According to CBS correspondent Scott Pulley, many of those recycled electronics may illegally find their way to “mass collections of electronics dumps throughout the world (China), destined for a highly polluted destruction and burning” (Pulley). The improper method of recycling electronics like burning or melting may cause high levels of toxic chemicals including: “Barium, Cadmium, Lead, Lithium, Mercury, Nickel, Palladium, Rhodium, and Silver. When burned they create cancer-producing dioxins which are released into the air we breathe, the water we drink and our soil. The chemicals listed above may cause: Birth defects, Brain, Heart, Liver, Lung, Spleen, Kidney, Nervous System, Reproductive System, and Skeletal System damage” (Green Citizen). These e-waste dumps are located around the world and are in most cases illegal to operate.
Electronic waste is becoming a continuously growing environmental crisis. The organization Demand-Led (who will be hosting e-waste world 2013) believes “the Chinese government is firmly determined to control this problem in a sustainable manner. Among all kinds of wastes, e-waste is one of the most dangerous types. To dispose them correctly, special recycling technology and equipment are required. It is estimated that the country will produce more than 6 million tons of electronic discards in 2020” (E-waste World). The United States generated “3.19