Category Archives: Winter feature

New Year Will Bring New Rules for Disposing of Electronic Devices

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Township News magazine

New rules for disposing of electronic devices that take effect on January 24, 2013, will prohibit consumers from throwing away laptops, computers, monitors, televisions, and other such electronics with their trash. Under the state Covered Device Recycling Act of 2010, waste haulers will no longer be able to take these items unless the municipality has a curbside electronics collection program that ultimately sends the devices to an electronics recycler.

“Proper recycling is important because there are millions and millions of devices, they have a limited useful life span, and they contain heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, and mercury, as well as other materials that do not belong in the normal trash stream,” state Secretary of Environmental Protection Michael Krancer said in a news release.

Many of these devices also contain valuable metals, such as gold, silver, and platinum, and base metals, such as copper, iron, and aluminum that can be separated and reused in new products.

The law also requires manufacturers of covered devices to provide for the collection, transportation, and recycling of these items through one-day events, permanent collection programs, or mail-back options. Some retailers also accept electronics for recycling either at no charge or in exchange for rebates or coupons.

A current list of collection opportunities, including those offered by manufacturers and retailers, is available by calling DEP’s toll-free recycling hotline at (800) 346-4242. Consumers may also obtain electronics recycling information from their county recycling coordinator. Contact information for county recycling coordinators can be found on the DEP website at www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword “Recycle.”