We live in a world of the automatic update. And as technology continues to evolve at a much faster rate than ever before in existence, electronics are obsolete before the life of these gadgets give way.

Electronic waste is sweeping the nation by storm—and this rain cloud has come to Cumberland County, New Jersey.

DoSomething.org shares some hair-raising statistics on electronic waste in the States.

Like this missed chance: did you know your cell phone contains precious metals like silver and gold? Don’t go smashing your old cellular device on the cement just yet—you won’t get much for what you find. But collectively, Americans dispose of $60 million worth of precious metals via cellular device every year.

And it doesn’t stop there. While e-waste accounts for only 2% of what goes into American landfills, it contributes a staggering 70% of overall toxic waste in our soil and on our streets—even here in Cumberland County, New Jersey.

Many televisions and computer screen monitors utilize cathode ray tubes which contain harmful toxins like lead and fluorescent powders. When exposed to the elements, these toxins enter our soil, our water, our Earth.

But why is e-waste such a growing epidemic?

The short answer? Because somehow it’s “easier” to toss away e-waste in black garbage bags than to deal with the issue at hand.

But it’s also illegal. If you’re irresponsibly disposing of electronic waste, you could end up paying an ultimate price.

Take it from the big wigs at Big Lots. Earlier this year, the retail giant was ordered to pay $3.5 million for improperly handling e-waste at its stores in California.

This industry is fraught with irresponsibility in the name of saving a buck. But it doesn’t have to cost you to do the right thing! For 12 locations in Cumberland County, New Jersey where you can responsibly dispose of expired electronics, click here.

If you have a question on whether an item is considered e-waste, feel free to contact the Improvement Authority by calling 856.825.3700.

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