Tackling High-Tech Trash

This report from Demos looks at the size and scale of the e-waste challenge in the United States, where 400 million pieces of e-waste hit the waste stream per year, and provides solutions for reducing the toxic trash we generate.

Among the solutions from author Elizabeth Grossman:

• Expanding existing take-back and recycling programs to cover a greater scope of products and making these programs easier and more convenient to use.


• Expanding "extended producer responsibility" for electronics products, requiring manufacturers to "internalize" the full life-cycle costs of their products.

• Ending the export of hazardous e-waste for environmentally unsound and socially irresponsible materials recovery, processing, and disposal.

• Requiring improvements in both hardware and software design that would ease reuse and recycling, reduce overall environmental health hazards associated with electronics (from manufacture through end-of-product-life), and ultimately extend the life of products.