Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Don't sit that PC on curb Starting today, it's illegal to dump TVs and many electronic devices on your hauler
, BY AD CRABLE, Staff Writer
Beginning today, don't throw that unwanted television, computer or e-reader in the trash or place them on the curb for your local trash hauler.
It will be against the law to take such items to landfills and incinerators.
Pennsylvania's Covered Devices Recycling Act goes into effect that day and consumers and businesses will no longer be allowed to dispose of covered devices with their trash.
Instead, they must be recycled. The act was passed by the state Legislature in 2010.
"This law is an important step toward further reducing the amount of waste disposed in our landfills," said Mike Krancer, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection.
"There will be a host of positive impacts from this law, such as deriving economic benefits from precious metals found in electronics, eliminating heavy metals in the environment and encouraging environmental stewardship."
Not only will it be unlawful to dispose of covered devices as trash, trash haulers are forbidden to collect them.
The list of devices banned from trash include desktop computers, laptops, computer accessories such as keyboards, mouse, printers and speakers, televisions and e-readers that can browse the Internet.
So, how can Lancaster County residents get rid of their old, broken or unwanted such devices?
One free disposal site is the Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 1299 Harrisburg Pike, operated by the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority.
For more information on the facility, go to http://bit.ly/JpZNvT.
"The authority has experienced a slight bump in visits to the HHW Facility, with residents anticipating this new law coming into effect," said Kathryn Sandoe, an authority spokeswoman.
"Additionally, the authority realized a 14.5 percent increase in the amount of household hazardous-waste material collected and a 10 percent increase in the number of visitors, as compared to 2011.
"We attribute this increase to the facility's convenient hours and accessible location, plus the ease-of-use as it's a drive-through facility."
Residents can also visit Earth911.com for an additional list of locations that recycle covered devices. Or contact your local municipality for more information.
The new law requires that manufacturers of covered devices provide for the collection, transportation and recycling of these devices by establishing free one-day events, permanent collection programs or mail-back programs for consumers.
In 2011, the U.S. electronics recycling industry processed 3 million to 4 million tons of used and end-of-life electronics equipment, according to the Earth911 website.
More than 70 percent of the collected gadgets can be recycled, recovering items such as plastic, steel, aluminum, copper, gold and silver to be used in new products. Electronics recyclers repair, refurbish and resell functioning electronics as used products both at home and abroad.