Pennsylvania E-waste Recycling Law to take effect

Courtesy of Silvanus360

Retrieved 21 Jan 2013

Pennsylvania E-waste Recycling Law to take effect

Beginning Jan. 24, a disposal ban on a host of electronic devices — the final provision of the Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act, signed into law by former Gov. Ed Rendell in 2010 — will go into effect. As mandated by the CDRA, it will become illegal for desktop computers, laptop computers, computer monitors, computer peripherals such as printers, keyboards, and mouses, tablets like iPads and Kindles and televisions with viewable screens larger than four inches to be disposed of in state landfills. All of that “e-waste” must be recycled instead. Cell phones and PDAs are exempt from the law.

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“The issue is the heavy metals like lead, cadmium and mercury that seep out of computers and TVs and into the ground,” said Lisa Kasianowitz, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which has been tasked to oversee and enforce the CDRA. “Those toxins do not decompose ever, so we just want to protect the environment as much as possible.”
According to the DEP, a typical cathode ray tube computer monitor, for example, contains four to seven pounds of lead; large CRT televisions can contain even more lead.

“E-waste is only about two percent of the total waste stream, but it counts for about 70 percent of toxic materials in landfills,” said George Jugovic, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania environmental advocacy organization PennFuture. “For a long time people have been throwing away a substantial amount of items that can potentially threaten our drinking water supply, so this law is nothing but a good thing.”

Instead of putting their unwanted electronics out with the rest of the trash, individuals and businesses will be required to bring their e-waste to municipal drop-off locations, or to collection events held by stores or electronics recycling companies.

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