Hey, this is Jens with Kentucky Heirs again! Thanks to everyone who came out to meet us at our educational display and showcase at the Parklands of Floyds Fork this past weekend! We had such a great time teaching you about the importance of inland ocean action. We had our two pretend "oceans", one "polluted" and one "clean" for children to let their crafted fish "swim" in. We had books that we read to children and had coloring activities as well as quizzes with rewards for correct answers or for a good try! We collected more i-devices and also had a chance to explain what the dangers of e-waste are to our Kentucky waterways and the environment, as well as to Kentuckians' health if these are disposed of in local landfills.
So far there is no law in the State of Kentucky that would prohibit the disposal of e-waste in Kentucky landfills and I am currently working on changing this to protect our local creeks and streams and Kentuckians' health in the future.
Electronic devices that have become obsolete continue to fill up landfills throughout the world. About 30 million computers are disposed of in the US alone every year, with fewer than 20% of them being properly recycled while the rest goes to landfills and incinerators.
E-waste-connected health risks may result from direct contact with harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), from inhalation of toxic fumes, as well as from accumulation of chemicals in soil, water and food. In addition to its hazardous components, being processed, e-waste can give rise to a number of toxic by-products likely to affect human health.
And while recycling is increasing, according to the EPA, currently about 60% of discarded electronics end up in the trash.
While many states are passing laws to prevent e-waste from going into their landfills and incinerators, it’s still legal to trash electronics in many states, like it is here in Kentucky. This is problematic because the hazardous chemicals in them could leach out of landfills into groundwater and streams.
Out of 3.14 tons of e-waste generated in the U.S. in 2013, 1.87 million tons went into landfills and incinerators (60%) and only 1.27 million tons (40%) was recovered for recycling and unfortunately much of it was exported to undeveloped nations.
Please help support our mission of changing the law in the State of Kentucky to protect the health of Kentucky citizens as well as the health of our environment in the Bluegrass State!