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Electronic-Waste Recycling in Full Swing in PA

Throwing out that old TV? Not so fast, the Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act has taken effect. – Also, a list of upcoming e-waste collection events throughout the county.

Residents and businesses across Montgomery County, and throughout the state, are no longer allowed to toss out their old TVs, computers or other electronic devices with their regular trash pickup.

Instead, they will have to adhere to the Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA), which was passed in 2010 and went into effect Jan. 24.

According to a recent press release by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), unless a municipality has a curbside electronics collection program, trash haulers will not collect electronic devices and its components, and will leave them on the curbside. Such electronic devices must be taken to an electronics collection location for proper recycling.

“This law is an important step toward further reducing the amount of waste disposed in our landfills,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said in the release.

According to DEP literature on CDRA, as technology advances, electronic products become obsolete and “constitute one of the fastest growing streams of today’s consumer and commercial waste.”

Such e-waste contain both precious recyclable raw material, as well as hazardous materials that, when left in landfills, raise environmental and health concerns, according to the DEP.

The CDRA requires that manufacturers, retailers and consumers of covered devices take certain measures to ensure that such devices are properly recycled.

“We think it’s great. Before there wasn’t a consistent means of recycling such materials,” Charles Nygard, co-founder of the electronic recycling company eForce Compliance, said.

According to the CDRA, certain certifications must be achieved before a company may become an electronics recycling facility, including the R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices Standard) Certification and the e-Stewards Certification.

Founded in 1982, Nygard said the Philadelphia-based recycing company was among the first electronic recycling companies to achieve such certifications.

Nygard said nearly all electronic devices contain potentially hazardous heavy metals, which make putting them in landfills undesirable and potentially dangerous to the environment.

He also explained that the process of recycling electronics is both costly and meticulous. If the device cannot be reused, it is taken a part and stripped of precious metals and then given to vendors for metal reclamation. 

“We track material down to its raw material state,” Nygard said.

While consumers can bring their electronic devices to the eForce Compliance operation facility, or to other electronic recyling companies, eForce Compliance also provides free electronic collection events throughout the city and suburbs. These collection events are in partnership with municipalities, nonprofit groups and civic associations.

According to Nygard, eForce Compliance collected over 3-million pounds of electronics through its collection programs in 2012 and expects to nearly double the amount this year. [See list below for dates and location sites]

Most small, household electronic items will be accepted, but not larger appliances, such as refrigerators or washers and dryers. Residents should contact their respective municipalities to inquire about bulk trash collection.

According to Nygard, it will be up to the individual municipalities to enforce the law, but hopes that environmental education will guide consumers toward proper electronic recycling.

In addition to holding the collection events, Nygard said eForce Compliance was also the first to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency in its Sustainability Partnership Program. This program connects members with schools and municipalities to help promote recycling education.

Montgomery County also hosts an Electronic Collection Program. According to a county spokesperson, the 2013 schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

According to a flyer from Montgomery County’s 2012 schedule of electronic collection program events, items that would be accepted at electronic collection events include, but are not limited to:

  • Computer Monitors
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Fax Machines
  • Keyboards
  • VCRs/DVD players
  • Cable/Satellite Recievers
  • Cell Phones
  • Stereo and Radio equipment
  • Microwaves
  • Vaccuums
  • Other small household appliances

For more information, visit http://eforcecompliance.com or the Montgomery County recycling website.  

Below is a list of eForce Compliance electronic collection events in Montgomery County in 2013.

Date

Time

Place

Address

Feb. 2


9 a.m - 2 p.m


Whole Foods- Jenkintown


Whole Foods Jenkintown
1575 The Fairway
Jenkintown, PA 19046 Feb. 2 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Whole Foods - Plymouth Meeting


Whole Foods Plymouth Meeting
500 West Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 Feb. 9 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

King of Prussia Mall


King of Prussia Mall
160 North Gulph Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406 Feb. 16 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Upper Providence Township Upper Providence Administration Building
1286 Black Rock Road
Oaks, PA 19456 Feb. 23 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Abington Township


Abington Public Works Building
2201 Florey Lane
Abington, PA 19001 March 9 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

St. Helena's Blue Bell


St. Helena's Parking Lot
1489 Dekalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA 19422 April 20 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Upper Dublin Township

Upper Dublin Township Building
801 Loch Alsh Avenue
Fort Washington, PA 19034

June 22

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Abington Township

Upper Dublin Township Building
801 Loch Alsh Avenue
Fort Washington, PA 19034

Sept . 21

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Upper Dublin Township

Upper Dublin Township Building
801 Loch Alsh Avenue
Fort Washington, PA 19034 Sept. 28 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Conshohocken Borough

Conshohocken Borough
1 West 1st Avenue #200
Conshohocken, PA 19428

Nov. 9 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Abington Township

Abington Public Works Building
2201 Florey Lane
Abington, PA 19001

Douglas Weiss January 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM
By forcing companies to take them back pa is essentially closing that field and restricting it to a select few
Cadillac Man January 27, 2013 at 05:37 PM
"Such e-waste contain both precious recyclable raw material, as well as hazardous materials that, when left in landfills, raise environmental and health concerns, according to the DEP." Sounds like they found a way to profit off of this waste! If the State of PA was so concerned about our environment, they would ban Fracking in PA. forever!!! Do you hear me Gov. Corbett!!! Oh I forgot you are on their payroll!!!! Ya POS!!!!
Peter Gibbons April 23, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Heavy rain + swollen creek = no more old TV
junkman bill April 26, 2013 at 01:49 PM
I'll take all your unwanted electronics......burn the plastic away in a barrel and you're left with great scrap metal leftover to sell
pruckels April 26, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Hope you're a fan of cancer if you do... http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123101615.htm Not to mention the impact that this activity would have on everyone in your area. But, hey, who wouldn't want to give kids asthma, cancer, you name it, when there's a couple of bucks worth of scrap metal to be had?

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