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Definition: e-waste

Discarded electronics. Every year, there is an enormous number of computer and electronic devices that become obsolete and are thrown in the trash (some 400 million according to estimates). Lead, cadmium, mercury and other toxic materials used in this equipment can contaminate the environment. According to the Global E-Waste Statistics Partnership, founded by the ITU, more than 50 million metric tons of e-waste were generated in 2019 alone.

All over the world, recycling centers exist that handle e-waste properly, and people should dispose of old computers, phones, tablets and other electronics at such facilities. For a most unusual e-waste disposal story, see Apple 1.