The United States is currently (according to 2010 studies) the largest contributor of electronic waste, producing about 3 million tons per year, followed by China, who produces about 2.3 million tons per year. Initiatives to safely recycle electronic waste have grown in the United States in recent years, however. While China doesn’t currently produce as much electronic waste as the United States, China ends up with electronic waste from many countries (despite bans to prevent its importation), which is often processed improperly. A portion of this electronic waste is burned by people trying to make a living off of collecting a low yield of the remaining precious metals compared to higher yields of established recycling facilities. In addition, this burning of electronic waste releases highly toxic pollution into the atmosphere.
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