NJ Officials Remind Residents To Recycle Unwanted Electronic Devices

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recycle_clip_artTRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection reminds New Jersey residents that televisions, computers, electronic tablets, e-book readers, printers and monitors that have been replaced by new electronic holiday gifts cannot be tossed into the trash but must be taken to designated recycling collection points as mandated by state law.

“Recycling of e-waste is an increasingly important and easy-to-accomplish effort, one that is making an impact on reducing trash tonnage across our state,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said. “These electronic devices can no longer be placed at the curb for trash pickup. They can be taken to specially designated e-waste recycling drop-off points conveniently located in our cities and towns or to retailers that accept these materials.”

Since taking effect in 2010, with collection points established in 2011, the state’s Electronic Waste Management Act has dramatically increased the amount of recycled e-waste, keeping potentially hazardous materials out of landfills and incinerators. Through the third quarter of 2013, more than 100 million pounds of e-waste has been diverted from the regular waste stream.

The law covers televisions and all personal or portable computers, including desktop, notebook and laptop computers, tablets, iPads and eReaders, as well as computer monitors. Manufacturers of these devices now fund the collection of e-waste so that it is free for consumers.

The law does not require recycling of cell phones, DVD players, VCRs, game consoles, or other electronic devices, although retailers and service organizations provide drop-off opportunities for recycling of these items.

Discarded TVs, computers and computer monitors contain lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, zinc, brominated flame retardants, and other potentially hazardous materials, while Cathode Ray Tubes, or CRTs, contain large amounts of lead that is used to shield consumers from radiation.

Electronic waste makes up 2 percent of the solid waste disposed in New Jersey. But as a result of consumer demand for new technologies, and subsequent disposal of old devices, e-waste is growing faster than any other component of the solid waste stream.

Devices covered by the law must be taken to a drop-off point, such as a county or municipal collection center or a participating electronics retail store. Most municipal and county drop-off points require proof of residency. Many electronics retailers, including Best Buy, Staples, and Target, and community-based service programs, most notably Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army, also accept these materials at no cost.

“The DEP is working hard to improve the public’s understanding of proper disposal of e-waste and to make it easy to do,” said DEP Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Management Jane Kozinski. “Please help spread the word on proper disposal of old electronics to family and friends, to keep those old televisions, computers or iPads out of the trash.

Residents should contact their county solid waste agency or municipal recycling coordinator for e-waste recycling options currently available in their cities and towns.

For more information on New Jersey’s E-Cycle program, including a list of e-waste recycling locations statewide, a connection to all 21 county recycling web sites, and information for consumers on “front door” pickup service to deal with extra heavy televisions or for people with special needs, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/ewaste/index.html


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