All of the monstrous data centers popping up globally are having multiple negative impacts on the planet, the EPA notes.
First, there is the obvious effect, power consumption. Data centers account for 3 percent of the global electricity supply and consume more power than the entire United Kingdom.
But beyond that is the waste caused by disposal. With Amazon and the like deploying more than a million physical servers per year globally, the old server equipment they replace have to go somewhere. The same goes for your old servers.
E-waste 70 percent of toxic waste
The EPA estimates e-waste, disposed electronics, now accounts for 2 percent of all solid waste and 70 percent of toxic waste, thanks to the use of chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and beryllium, as well as hazardous chemicals such as brominated flame retardants. A lot of that is old servers and components.