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E-waste is made up of electronic products that are old, broken or have come to the end of their usefulness.

Televisions, computers, tape players, printers, VCRs, game consoles and so many other electronics items are often left sitting in someone’s basement or garage for years to come or, even worse, thrown into a landfill.

As the most rapidly growing problem of waste in the world, e-waste is responsible for approximately 50 million tons or more of waste each year. Sadly, less than 20% of this e-waste is documented, recycled and disposed of in an appropriate manner.

International E-Waste Day is here to get everyone on board with tackling this global problem through recycling along with appropriate disposal tactics.

History of International E-Waste Day

The first celebration of International E-Waste Day took place in 2018 when the event was launched by the Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum.

The purpose behind starting the day was to increase public awareness and understanding about the need to reduce and recycle e-waste, encouraging individuals, companies and communities to do more to protect the envirnoment.

The WEEE Forum is an international association made up of dozens of various e-waste collection schemes that are working together in at least 20 different countries across the globe.

How to Celebrate International E-Waste Day

Considering some ways to get involved with observing International E-Waste Day? Take a look at some of these ideas to get started with:

Make Informed Choices About E-Waste

Consumers have a critical part to play in the celebration of International E-Waste Day as everyone has the opportunity to make wise purchases along with disposing of retired electronic equipment in the most sustainable manner.

One of the most important things individuals and families can do is be sure to take their electronic waste to certified e-waste recycling locations.

Another option is to make pro-active choices to purchase products that have been made from recycled e-waste.

Collect and Recycle Electronics

Schools, community centers, businesses and other groups of concerned citizens can get involved with International E-Waste Day by hosting an electronic equipment drive.

Get the community on board by asking folks to bring their old equipment into a central location.

Or, even better, provide a pickup service that can help those who are less able to transport them, or for elderly folks who are unsure about exactly how to recycle e-waste.

Understand (and Share) More About E-Waste

In 2024, the UN completed a new report to better understand the statistics surrounding e-waste.

In celebration of International E-Waste Day, it might be a great idea to read the Global E-Waste Monitor. Collect some important facts that can be shared and then acted upon, beginning with some of these:

  • Vaping, also called disposable e-cigarettes, is a major e-waste contributor and it is getting even worse with the growing market
  • One-third of global e-waste comes from small electronics like microwaves, vacuums, “smart” toothbrushes and more
  • The average American disposes of more than 45 pounds of e-waste per year – more than almost any other country in the world
  • Rare earth elements are used for technology, but only 1% of the supply comes from recycling

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