While each e-waste recycling company is different and deserves to be looked at individually, e-waste pollution represents a huge problem in developing nations. The process of recycling e-waste involves removing an array of heavy metals like lead and mercury from the old electronic devices, as well as precious metal reclamation of gold, copper, palladium, etc. Of course the recycling process requires some amount of energy, water, and chemicals to be effective, which are all responsible for some level of pollution, however the sad fact of the matter is that it costs less to ship e-waste to developing nations than does to safely recycle e-waste. The sheer amount of e-waste generated in the US is growing every year which leaves recyclers in a predicament as the waste is coming in at a faster rate than it can be recycled. Therefore the biggest problem with e-waste is not the pollution generated in the recycling process but the exportation of waste to poor countries. E-waste, in Ghana for example, contaminates the soil with lead and mercury which then ends up in the food that is eventually passed to humans and their babies.
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