How to Recycle

About the Book

Island Press Home

Quick Facts
Between two and four million tons of e-waste from the United States wind up overseas each year for low-tech recycling.  
Home arrow Press arrow Web/Newspaper
St. Petersburg Times PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 December 2006

Old technology doesn't have to go in the trash

By CURTIS KRUEGER, Times Staff Writer

Published December 15, 2006

Look in any electronics store this weekend and you’ll surely see a steady stream of holiday-gift televisions, computers and cell phones flowing out the doors and into homes all around you.

But after the holidays, this stream of high-tech gizmos keeps flowing out of the house and into the garbage, where electronic trash is a growing environmental concern.

New York Times PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 December 2006

Clearing a path from desktop to the recycler.

A consensus is emerging that protections need to be put in place against a dam-bursting amount of obsolete computer equipment and dormant televisions sitting in American closets and basements that could soon hit the waste stream.

Read More  

Boston Phoenix PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 December 2006
The Cost of Convenience

Author Elizabeth Grossman Details the E-waste Problem in High Tech Trash.

Although the problem of electronic waste is just starting to gain more mainstream attention, Portland, Oregon-based author and journalist Elizabeth Grossman became aware of it six years ago, when she was struck by the amount of toxics being released by Portland’s high-tech industry. The realization prompted her to write the recently published High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics and Human Health (Island Press, 2006;

Boston Phoenix PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 December 2006
Your desktop could be a time bomb

Making computers — and disposing of them — exacts a harsh environmental cost

By Tim Lehnert


In Rhode Island’s sooty industrial past, the state was awash in toxic chemicals and metals. Lethal effluent from textile and jewelry manufacture poured into streams, rivers, ponds, and ultimately, Narragansett Bay. The very ground from Woonsocket to Wickford was contaminated.

Although cleaner industries, like education, health-care, and financial services, now dominate the landscape, there’s a hitch: the computers, cell phones, and other digital gadgets that we take for granted extract a fierce environmental toll, both in their production and their disposal.

PBS "P.O.V" PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 December 2006
Wasting Away

Author Elizabeth Grossman talks about the environmental impact of electronics manufacturing, the health risks faced by the maquiladora workers and the necessity of enforcing environmental regulations across borders. Find out more on how you can be a responsible consumer. 

The Dallas Morning News PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 September 2006
Before you toss that PC ...

ELIZABETH GROSSMAN warns of toxic high-tech trash
September 28, 2006

In recent weeks, Dell and Apple have recalled nearly 6 million – or up to 3 tons – of computer batteries. This sounds like a lot, but these batteries are just a drop in the bucket of our collective high-tech trash. This year, the world will discard between 20 million and 50 million tons of computers, cellphones, televisions and other electronics. Worldwide, about 4,000 tons of e-waste – as this trash has come to be called – are discarded every hour, about the weight of 1,800 Ford Explorers.

New Yorker PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 December 2006
by Ben McGrath

There is a saying among the rank-and-file members of the Department of Sanitation, otherwise known as san men, or New York’s Strongest: “You can go your whole life without ever having to call a fireman, and if you’re lucky you’ll never have to call a cop, but you want to see a sanitation worker every day.” Robin Nagle, the director of N.Y.U.’s Draper Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Humanities and Social Thought, cited this adage the other day in the course of explaining her new gig as the D.S.N.Y.’s official anthropologist-in-residence, a role that seems to involve at least as much cheerleading as it does scholarship. “If every anthropologist in the country folds up his research kit and goes home, the world isn’t necessarily going to notice,” she said. “But, if every san man in the world packs up his kit and goes home, we’re in trouble.”

The Seattle Times PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 August 2006
June 5, 2006
Perils of high-tech waste surround us, author says
By Kristi Heim

Environmental writer Elizabeth Grossman explores the toxic underside of our digital age in her new book "High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics and Human Health." Based in Portland, Grossman became interested in the topic in 2000 after researching pollution in the Willamette River tied to tech and related industries.
Red Herring PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 August 2006
July 4, 2006
Q&A: Elizabeth Grossman; Author of High Tech Trash sees profit for companies recycling electronic waste
By J. Kho

European Union directive restricting the use of some hazardous substances just went into effect, requiring electronics manufacturers to build more environmentally friendly computers, cell phones, and flat-screen televisions…
Read more... PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 August 2006
August 8, 2006
Author to talk tech trash
By Ted Samson

So what happens when a similarly environmentally-minded CTO, for example, faces the task of getting rid of a load of PCs and monitors? For the sake of both the environment and security, he or she might want to recycle them. And in order to learn just how and why to do that, that CTO might want to tune in to C-SPAN on Aug. 15 for a talk by author Elizabeth Grossman, who will be speaking in San Francisco about her latest book, "High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health."
Read more... PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 August 2006
July 5, 2006
High Tech Anything But Green
By Stefanie Olsen

Six years ago, Elizabeth Grossman had an unsettling revelation about the high-tech industry: It's anything but green.

As an environmental journalist, Grossman was conducting research on the Willamette River, near her home of Portland, Ore., where many chip manufacturers like LSI Logic house their plants. She was evaluating progress of the river's cleanup, after years of contamination from pulp and paper plants in the area, when she realized its water quality was getting worse, not better…
Read more... PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 August 2006
June 28, 2006
High Tech Trash: An Interview with Elizabeth Grossman
By Sarah Rich

In the grand scheme of things, the waste that weekly fills our curbside trash and recycling bins is mostly of a household variety: food containers, junk mail, used bathroom and cleaning supplies. We don’t throw out things like cell phones, computer parts and appliances very often, but when we do, this electronic waste ("e-waste") wreaks widespread havoc as it travels through a clumsy, poorly distributed global disassembly and decomposition process…
Tyee Books PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 August 2006
August 1, 2006
The iPod Is Bad Garbage
James Glave

Itching for a sweet new Nokia? It's probably high time. Your friends have been knocking your phone for years. Face it, you're talking into the personal-electronics equivalent of Sputnik. The screen is cracked, the battery is flagging. And no Bluetooth!?