In this age of exploding consumer demand for the best and newest electronic everything, it should be no surprise that we are generating outdated and unwanted electronic devices in unprecedented numbers. The electronics recycling industry has compiled data showing that the volume of e-waste has more than doubled in the past five years and that e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream.
Some e-waste offers an opportunity to recover raw materials to make new products. But some is simply a problem, which, if not managed properly, poses an environmental hazard. Case in point – leaded glass in the cathode ray tubes (CRTs) found in old TVs and computer monitors. Because CRTs have been replaced by new flat panel displays, the legitimate uses for CRT glass are rapidly diminishing. As a result, as noted in a recent New York Times article "roughly 660 million pounds of the glass is being stored in warehouses across the country, and it will cost $85 million to $360 million to responsibly recycle it...".