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New Electronics? Recycle Your Old Ones; Says DEP

If you’re received new televisions, computers, electronic tablets, e-book readers and monitors for the holidays, remember the old ones cannot be thrown out in the trash. 

That’s the reminder from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection which is reminding residents to take the items to designated recycling collection points as required by state law.

“Recycling of e-waste is taking hold across the state and is steadily becoming routine,” said Commissioner Bob Martin.  “These devices can no longer be placed out on the curb.  They must be taken to specially designated e-waste recycling drop-off points conveniently located throughout our municipalities and counties or to retailers that accept these materials.”

Since taking effect on January 1, 2011, the state’s Electronic Waste Management Act has dramatically increased the amount of e-waste that is recycled in the state, keeping potentially hazardous materials out of landfills and incinerators.  Through the third quarter of 2012, more than 62 million pounds of e-waste have been diverted from the regular waste stream.

The law covers televisions and all personal or portable computers, including desktop, notebook and laptop computers along with computer monitors.  The collection of e-waste is now funded by the manufacturers of the devices, so it’s free for consumers.

Cell phones, DVD players , VCRs, game consoles or other electronic devices are not required to be recycled.  But, retailers do provide drop-off opportunities for recycling these items.

Discarded TVs, computers and monitors contain lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, zinc, brominated flame retardants and other potentially hazardous materials.  Cathode Ray Tubes, or CRTs, contain large amounts of lead.

Electronic waste makes up two percent of the solid waste disposed in New Jersey and it’s growing faster than any other component of the solid waste stream as consumer demand for new technologies increases.

The devices covered under the law have to be taken to a drop-off point, like a county or municipal collection center or a participating electronics store.  Most municipal and county drop-of points require proof of residency.

“The DEP is constantly working to improve the public’s understanding of proper disposal of e-waste,” said DEP Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Management Jane Kozinski.  “Whether you’ve received a new television, iPad, or desktop computer or gave one as a gift, be sure to spread the word on proper disposal of old electronics to family and friends.”

Find more information on how to recycle e-waste in NJ here.

 

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