×

World's electrical waste soars in 2014: Report

A refrigerator dump in Stratford, East London, UK.
Eye Ubiquitous | UIG | Getty Images
A refrigerator dump in Stratford, East London, UK.

Humans' thirst for the latest electronics drove the total amount of e-waste in 2014 to 41.8 million tonnes, according to a report released by the United Nations University.

To put that into perspective, e-waste in 2014 was equal to 1.15 million 40-ton 18-wheel trucks, which would be a line 14,292 miles long, according to the report. (Tweet This)

That theoretical line of trucks is the distance from New York to Tokyo and back again. All that trash was estimated to be worth $52 billion. What's more, only 16 percent of all items were recycled.

Read More An ATM that takes your devices for cash on the spot

Kitchen, laundry and bathroom equipment such as microwaves, dishwashers and washing machines made up the majority of the dumped goods. Smaller electronic goods including mobile phones, personal computers and printers only made up 7 percent of the dumped e-waste.

Asia produced the most e-waste during the year with a total of 16 million tonnes, which averages to about 3.7 kg per person. The Americas were the second-biggest offender with 11.7 million tonnes.

Europe, however, produced the most e-waste per person with 15.6 kg per inhabitant.

The total amount of e-waste, which is categorized as all items of electrical and electronic equipment, is expected to grow to 50 million tonnes by 2018, according to the report.