Electronic discard items include computers, monitors televisions, printers and other electronic devices. Today’s consumer electronic products are characterized by rapid evolving technology and relatively short product life. The average lifespan of a computer is currently about three to four years, and advances in technology for all electronic equipment, particularly cell phones, soon render to be obsolete. Due to the relative low price of new equipment, items that break or become obsolete are often discarded into the waste stream rather than being repaired or upgraded. Given the sheer volume of electronics and the hazardous materials that may contain, consumer and generators are encouraged to seek environmentally safe options such as reuse or recycle when their electronics reach the end of its useful life.
Electronics may contain metals that, if not properly managed or contained, can become hazardous wastes, they include:
Cadmium – The largest source of cadmium in municipal waste is rechargeable nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries.
Lead – Old monitors and televisions contain a cathode ray tube (CRT) that contains leaded glass. CRTs are the largest source of lead in municipal waste.
Mercury – Some electronic equipment also contains recoverable quantities of mercury.
Electronics may also contain other materials that are threat to human health and the environment.
Beginning January 1, 2012 The Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA, Act 108 of 2010) requires manufactures of desktop, computers, laptop computers, computer monitors, computer peripherals and televisions to provide recycling services to residents of Pennsylvania.
Beginning January 24, 2013, the CDRA banned the disposal of these devices and any of their components in municipal waste.
The following webpage provides information on county and municipality electronic and other recycling items such as batteries, fluorescent bulbs, cell phones etc. locations that have on going, one day collection programs and other places to send recycling items (wycopa.org, dep.pa.gov, earth911.com, aircycle.com and call2recycle.org)
Collection of electronics and other recycling item locations may charge fees if they are not a retailer and not affiliated with the manufactory’s recycling program for the recycling of non-covered and covered devices.
How to generate less and reduce – maintain and keep electronic equipment as long as possible. Evaluate, compare and select your electronic equipment based on their environmental attributes. A typical computer lifespan is three to four years, but can be extended by two to three years with some upgrading. Buy a good monitor; it can last six to seven years or more. Keep it for the use with your next computer. Always use a surge protector power stripe with all electronic equipment. Cell phones you can donate or given to a reuse program.
Any other questions please feel free to contact The Wyoming County Recycling Center at (570) 836-0729 Monday – Friday
7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.