Tracking a Gadget’s Journey From the Mine to Beneath the Christmas Tree

Imagine you're in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Behind you is China, below you are thousands of tons of consumer goods destined for faraway ports, then stores, then maybe a spot beneath a Christmas tree. You are part of a vast economy that supplies the things we buy—a galaxy of cities, systems, and people that is… » 12/10/14 2:05pm 12/10/14 2:05pm

There's $2.5 Billion Worth of Silver and Gold in Phones Sold This Year

Your gadgets contain tiny specks of precious and rare earth metals—we rely on these dust-sized particles, which are so small they're often not recycled because the cost of recycling outweighs the value of the metals. But according to the American Chemical Society, the overall value of these minute materials is massive. » 9/03/14 12:28pm 9/03/14 12:28pm

The Dirty Truth About Where Your Old Electronics Go

We all know we should recycle our electronics, but we don't really know what happens after we drop them off at the e-waste center. So filmmaker Alex Gorosh followed his old iPhones, all the way to Agbogbloshie, Ghana, the largest electronics dump in the world. It's a place so dirty and dangerous it's nicknamed "Sodom… » 9/02/14 2:49pm 9/02/14 2:49pm

Mushrooms Can Mine the Gold From Your Old Cellphones

Crack open your dumb old phone, and you'll find lots of circuits and no lack of precious metals. "In 100,000 cell phones, it's estimated that there is 2.4 kilograms of gold, more than 900 kilograms of copper, 25 kilograms of silver, and more," according to Motherboard. Could a safer and and cheaper method of… » 4/14/14 7:00pm 4/14/14 7:00pm

E-Hell on Earth: Where the West's Electronics Go to Die

While American consumers clamor for the latest and greatest in consumer electronics, our older digital devices are inundating and poisoning a generation of children in Ghana. Colorado Springs Gazette photographer Michael Ciaglo recently visited the largest e-waste processing site in the African nation and returned… » 10/09/13 12:15pm 10/09/13 12:15pm

Best Buy Expands Gadget Recycling Program To All Stores

Best Buy has gone nationwide with the gadget recycling program they began testing back in June. It isn't the best recycling program out there—no TVs over 32-inches, no "appliances", and a $10 fee for recycling laptops and TV monitors that is converted into a Best Buy gift card. Still, it ranks high on convenience. [… » 2/24/09 1:20pm 2/24/09 1:20pm

Panasonic Pwnd On Their Own Times Square TV

In a clever bit of green marketing, the non-profit Electronics TakeBack Coalition ran the above ad warning of "toxic waste" on Panasonic's own proud Times Square display. The coalition promotes manufacturers accepting their own products back for recycling. Unfortunately, clever ads and even manufacturer support are… » 11/25/08 5:20pm 11/25/08 5:20pm

TV Makers Get Abysmal Grades For E-Waste Recycling Programs

With just a few months before the digital TV conversion renders millions of sets obsolete (well, kind of), a group called the Electronics TakeBack Coalition is trying to shame major companies into some » 11/17/08 10:30pm 11/17/08 10:30pm initiative by giving them . Of all the companies surveyed, the highest score (B-) went to Sony, which launched the…

60 Minutes Reporter Investigates China's E-Waste Pits, Gets Attacked

Click to view » 11/07/08 1:25am 11/07/08 1:25am 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley went to Guiyi, China to document the lives of Chinese e-waste workers there. He was able to get footage of what these pits, which process much of the toxic electronic scrap we in the West throw away, look like—despite being jumped by angry e-waste lot owners and…

Majority of US E-Waste Gets 'Recycled' in Asia, Where Recycling Is…

A new report by the US Government Accountability Office is claiming that the majority of US E-Waste recycling services should reconsider dumping our 20 million plus pounds of waste on Asia, where it's cheaper but also less effective. Many of the major electronics manufacturers ( Samsung » 9/19/08 9:45am 9/19/08 9:45am, , , more) have been proudly…

Sony Ericsson Wins Greenest Electronics Company Award

Congratulations, Sony Ericsson, for winning what was ultimately a barely challenging competition to become the greenest electronics company around. Our favorite Swedish-Japanese conglomerate rose to the top of Greenpeace's Greener Electronics Guide by exceeding Energy Star requirements, making all its models PVC-free… » 6/29/08 10:00pm 6/29/08 10:00pm

Westinghouse Throws Its Support Behind Universal Adapter Concept

Even if it's not keeping up with other types of LCD technology, Westinghouse is at least throwing its support behind a solution for an age old problem. The budget electronics maker said that it had committed to using a "universal adapter" made by start-up Green Plug that will power everything from cell phones to… » 6/14/08 4:00pm 6/14/08 4:00pm