The Coalition for American Electronics Recycling or CAER contracted the DSM Environmental Services, Inc. (DSM) to develop a study to estimate the number of jobs that were associated with electronic waste recycling in the United States. This projected how many jobs might be created with an increase of electronic waste recycling activities and regulations.
The survey asked for three critical pieces of information from each company regarding employment, payroll, and a breakdown of employment throughout different activities undertaken within each recycling center.
Here is an illustration of the breakdown provided from DSM in regards to the activities carried out by surveyed members at CAER recycling centers. (Source: DSM, 2011)
This the pie chart indicates that, based on extrapolation of the survey results, CAER members recycled nearly 1.2 billion pounds of electronic waste in 2011. In return, CAER members employ roughly 6,850 people in the United States, at an estimated payroll of $250 million dollars!
Products Ready for End-of-Life Management.
According to a recent US EPA funded report, approximately 4.8 billion pounds of e waste were generated in the United States in 2011. Consider the fact that CAER members report 1.2 billion pounds of e waste. It can be inferred that approximately 3.6 billion pounds of e waste would then be exported, processed by domestic recycling companies not in CAER, or tossed in to landfills.
Below is an illustration of the quantity of electronic waste and material that was documented for destruction. (Source: US EPA ORCR, 2011)
This means that the remaining 3.6 billion pounds represents 21,000 full time equivalent recycling jobs with a corresponding payroll of $772.9 million dollars – that was lost during the economic downfall within the United States, during this time.
In addition, the number of jobs associated with recycling e waste in the US will continue to increase as the amount of e waste will continue to rise as new technologies replace old.The use of electronic devices has rapidly increased, resulting in staggering numbers of products reaching their end-of-life at faster rates than previously experienced.
In conclusion, the United States electronic sales and market is by far the largest in the world, but the recycling industry lacks a strong infrastructure. Studies show that by following the guidelines put forth from the government at a stricter pace, the American recycling industry will grow. This means more full time jobs and investments in an industry that will help our economy, while saving our planet!
Meaning more full time jobs and investments that will only help our economy, while saving our planet!
Want To Get Involved In Electronic Recycling?
Have you worked for/owned an Electronic Recycling Business? Join our cause and become a member with the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER).