Fight Dangerous Build-Up of Toxic E-Waste

Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Launch a national e-waste recycling campaign.

Millions of tons of toxic compounds in washing machines, refrigerators, and similar appliances collectively called “e-waste” are improperly disposed of every year, irrevocably damaging the environment and public health. The United States is one of the leading sources of this waste. Demand that a national e-waste recycling program be launched.

According to a recent study, 41.8 million tons of e-waste were produced worldwide last year. Of that massive amount, less than a sixth was properly recycled, leading to millions of tons of dangerous lead, mercury, cadmium, and chromium compounds being dumped into the environment without effective safeguards.

The United States, along with China, is responsible for an incredible third of that 41.8 million tons of e-waste. Our refusal to effectively recycle these materials, in tandem with our disproportionately-large role in dumping them out into the environment globally, demands that we redirect our attention to the effective disposal of this kind of waste.

Environmental protection, in light of the ever-increasing intensity of global climate change, should be one of America’s number one priorities. The safe and effective recycling of e-waste is a necessary component of that protection. Sign the petition below to demand that a national e-waste recycling outreach campaign be launched to reduce the amount of dangerous waste we improperly dump every year.


Dear President Obama,

I am writing you today about e-waste. Specifically, I’d like to bring your attention to a study that was recently published by the United Nations University that states that our country is responsible for the improper disposal of tens of millions of tons of e-waste every year. This is, needless to say, a very large problem, both environmentally-speaking and public health-wise.

The crux of the issue is that, when e-waste like washing machines, refrigerators, and even cell phones and computers is just thrown away in the garbage, the toxic compounds present in such appliances (compounds based in lead, chromium, and cadmium, for example) are left to leak from landfills back into the environment over the long term.

This poses great risks to both the environment and the health of animals and humans who, down the line, may ingest the compounds. Such risks can be avoided, however, be ensuring that e-waste is properly recycled instead of casually tossed in the trash.

The United States is responsible for a significant proportion of all e-waste produced globally every year—as such, we have a moral obligation to ensure that that waste is dealt with responsibly, for the sake of our own health and the health of our planet. I demand that you launch a nationwide e-waste recycling outreach program to ensure that Americans recycle their e-waste instead of sending to the landfill.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Praveenp via Wikimedia Commons

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