New law bans disposal of e-waste in landfills
VALLEY Beginning July 1, Colorado residents no longer may dispose of most electronic waste (e-waste ) in their household trash because Colorado landfills no longer may accept e-waste .
The change is the result of a new law, the Electronic Recycling Jobs Act. Industry, most businesses, government agencies, institutions and schools already are subject to e-waste disposal restrictions.
"The new law applies to TV sets, central processing units, computer monitors and peripherals, printers and fax machines, all kinds of laptops and notebook computers , DVD players, VCRs and any video display device with a screen larger than four inches," explained Wolf Kray, recycling specialist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The ban also includes radios , stereo equipment and video game consoles. Basically , e-waste is anything with a plug or circuit board excluding major appliances and A/C units.
Telephones, motor vehicle components and non-hazardous industrial or commercial devices still may be legally disposed of in a Colorado landfill.
People affected by the ban may donate or re-sell working devices, although this option is becoming more difficult , as thrift stores and resale shops are becoming more discriminating about what they will accept. Kray strongly encouraged people to recycle their e-waste through community collection events, manufacturer take-back programs or a reputable electronics recycling company.
Looking ahead towards this law going into effect, WSB Computer Services, Inc. last fall developed WSB eRecyclers, LLC, which accepts electronic waste for a per-pound fee at its 21 Craft Drive headquarters across from Town & Country auto mall in Alamosa and has begun mobile collection at various points in the San Luis Valley. For example, WSB eRecyclers held an ewaste collection drive this month at the Antonito Senior Citizens Center.
In addition to providing a way for Valley residents to dispose of electronic waste, WSB eRecyclers is providing work opportunities for Blue Peaks Developmental Services clients who are employed in disassembling recycled e-waste .
WSB e-Recyclers is part of the Vocational Electronic Recycling Network (VERN) a program that assists communities throughout Colorado and other states in developing sustainable recycling operations that produce benefits to the local environment, economy, and community.
For information regarding recycling fees, pickup service, and accepted items please contact Gail Velasquez or Jenine Manesiotis at 589-8940 .
Kray said recycling electronics recovers valuable materials and as a result, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, saves energy and saves resources by reducing the need for raw materials.
Kray cautioned, "When disposing of old computers or printers, it's important to protect your personal information from identity theft. Just erasing and reformatting the hard drive is not enough. To be really protected, you need to use disk-wiping software or use a recycler who performs certified data destruction by physically shredding all information storage devices at its facility."
To learn more about collection events, recyclers and protecting personal data, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's website, www.colorado.gov/cdphe/ ewaste
WSB e-Recyclers' list of items for recycling include: Amplifiers ; answering systems ; APC/ UPS backup supplies ; appliances (EXCEPT refrigerators or air conditioners ); audio equipment; auto starters and alternators ; batteries (alkaline, NiMH, NiCad, lithium ion); broadcasting equipment; cable boxes (analog, digital and satellite); cables and wire; calculators; cameras; capacitors; CATV components ; CD-ROM drives; cell phones; circuit boards; communication equipment; connectors; consumer electronics ; copiers; CRT's of all types; electronic motors; electronic components; fax machine; floppy drive; hard drive, etc.; home entertainment systems; insulated cable, wire harnesses, cable assemblies (copper and aluminum ); Integrated circuits/ semiconductors; IT and telecommunication electronics; keyboards/mice, etc.; laptops and notebook computers; mainframe computer equipment ; medical equipment; meters electric and gas; microwave ovens; miscellaneous electronic items; monitor of all types; paging systems; personal computers and associated hardware; point of sale equipment; power supplies; printers; resistors ; receiver?transmitters; security systems; servers; satellite and cable equipment ; stereo components all types; surveillance equipment ; telecommunication equipment; telephones including cordless and cellular; television equipment; test equipment; transformers; transistors; typewriters and calculators; user terminals and systems; vacuums; video equipment; video game equipment; washers and dryers; wiring and zip drives.