New E-Waste Problem: People Want to be Buried with their Cell Phones

cemetery with looming trees photo

Photo via Kevin Dooley

How this slips past the EPA, gee, we'll never know.

It's hard enough to keep e-waste out of landfills, what will cell phones and iPods being tossed aside for the newest versions. But what happens if they get buried in a different place — say, the cemetery?

A new trend could put e-waste issues on a whole different level. People are starting to be buried with their cell phones and other gadgets.

We only wish we were joking.

"It seems that everyone under 40 who dies takes their cell phone with them," says Noelle Potvin, family service counselor for Hollywood Forever, a funeral home and cemetery in Hollywood, Calif. "It's a trend with BlackBerrys, too. We even had one guy who was buried with his Game Boy."

Uh whaaaa? Turns out it's a growing trend, and growing rapidly. While specific stats don't exist, funeral directors concur that it's pretty common and will likely grow exponentially.

Being buried isn't very green in the first place - though there are ways to improve it. Being buried with e-waste is extra un-green.

Some of the possible explanations are that it represents a person, and is part of their legacy. Another occurance is that a playing iPod is placed in the casket with the person, so they're buried with music playing, or that a cell phone is buried with the person so that the living can call them later.

We'll let you make the cultural conclusions, and we'll stick with the e-waste issue. Fact is, this is a very un-eco-friendly trend and if it's on the rise, that presents an e-waste problem. But the bigger problem is that it is one that people don't seem to be too worried about. The MSNBC article ends on this incredibly lax note:

As for those who want to stay wired in the afterlife but are worried about high-tech toxic waste? Sony Ericsson, Nokia and LG Electronics have all come out with cell phones that are somewhat green.

Perhaps even enough to let you rest in peace.

This is a trend to watch, and hopefully to stop in the very near future.

More on e-Waste:
EPA Provides New E-Waste Guidelines, But Zero New Regulations
60 Minutes Reporter Attacked in Chinese E-Waste Pit
EPA Takes a Lax Approach to E-Waste Monitoring, GAO Report Finds
More on Greener Burials:
The Last Act - Green Burial
Eco-Friendly Burial lets you be Green Forever
Georgia Eco-Cemetery Lets Your Family Dig Your Own Grave

New E-Waste Problem: People Want to be Buried with their Cell Phones
How this slips past the EPA, gee, we'll never know.

Related Content on