Contact(s): Sarah Murray, (608) 264-6001
MADISON - Wisconsin households and schools recycled more than 24 million pounds of electronics in 2010 under a new statewide recycling program. The Department of Natural Resources E-Cycle Wisconsin program helps recycling businesses expand and saves local taxpayer money, according to program participant surveys.
"The program is really beginning to work as we hoped," said Sarah Murray, E-Cycle Wisconsin Coordinator. "We're seeing many more recycling opportunities for consumers and lower costs for taxpayers."
E-Cycle Wisconsin began in January 2010 and an electronics landfill ban took effect Sept. 1, 2010. The program uses a product stewardship approach, which means electronics manufacturers help pay for properly recycling old TVs, computers and other devices.
E-Cycle Wisconsin has made e-cycling more convenient and less costly for residents and schools. There are now nearly 350 registered collection sites covering most of the state. Many accept electronics for free or a small charge. See the E-Cycle Wisconsin website for information on which devices are accepted and a list of collection locations by county.
Several recyclers said they were able to expand their facilities and add workers and shifts because of the increased volume of electronics they received under product stewardship programs in Wisconsin and neighboring states. Local governments that began collecting electronics before January 2010 report that, under E-Cycle Wisconsin, they have saved thousands of dollars while offering expanded service and lower fees to their residents.
"The reaction from businesses, governments and nonprofits participating in the program has been really positive," Murray said.
See a E-Cycle Wisconsin 2010 Report with more details on the program's results on the E-Cycle Wisconsin website.
According to a statewide survey, Wisconsin households have more than 4 million computers, 5 million cell phones and 7 million TVs. These and other electronics have valuable, reusable materials like plastic, steel and precious metals. They also contain harmful materials, such as lead, mercury, other heavy metals and chemical flame retardants. If improperly disposed of, these pollutants can harm human and environmental health. Recycling also saves money and grows Wisconsin's e-cycling industry.