After doing my recent post on energy-efficient televisions, I wondered how many old television and other electronics devices are tossed in the municipal landfills as people upgrade to sleeker, more energy-efficient products. The number is pretty staggering. A full 85 percent of e-waste in the U.S. goes right to the dump or is incinerated, where it can release toxic chemicals such as lead and mercury into the environment. The other 15 percent is recycled, but much controversy has surrounded some recyclers who ship the toxic waste to China.
The Consumer Electronics Association is trying to help the situation out with their website called MyGreenElectronics.org. The site provides a handy ZIP code based search engine which maps out the nearest certified e-waste recyclers. The site also provides a list of organizations that will repair and reuse your old electronics, giving them to communities in need.
Apparently they have a searchable database of the greenest electronics products as well, but at the time of publication that database seems to be down. A couple of other cool tools — a calculator that shows you what percentage of your energy is going to electronics, and a fact sheet for how to reduce that energy load.