Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia are also considering electronic dumping bans similar to that in Massachusetts.
Current federal rules prohibit large-scale electronic dumping (groups that toss more than 220 pounds of electronic waste a month must recycle), but residents and small businesses can, and do, pile old computers into landfills. According to the National Safety Council, only 11 percent of computers get recycled, and small-time consumers alone add 10 million computers to landfills every year.
Besides taking up space and wasting copper, gold and other resources that could be recycled, mounting piles of tech trash pose an additional problem: toxicity.
More than 700 chemicals are used to manufacture computers, and their internal hardware is packed with cadmium, chromium, mercury and other heavy metals. But cathode ray tubes in monitors are the biggest problem.
The tubes contain lead, which protects viewers from radiation. When the
tubes are pulverized, the lead - between 2.5 and 8 pounds of it per
monitor - can seep through the landfill and into groundwater.
Recycle your old electronics!