August 24, 2010
MADISON - Beginning Sept. 1 Wisconsin residents may no longer dump old televisions, computers or cell phones in the trash. Under a new state program, it will be easier for people to conserve valuable resources and prevent pollution by recycling or donating unwanted electronics.
E-Cycle Wisconsin makes electronics recycling easier by providing a list of collection sites across the state.
Wisconsin's electronics recycling law, passed in October 2009, bans the disposal of a wide range of consumer electronics in state landfills and incinerators as of Sept. 1. The law also creates a statewide electronics recycling program, under which electronics manufacturers pay to recycle a certain amount of electronics from households and schools each year.
Electronics are the fastest growing component of waste in the United States, according to Ann Coakley, director of the DNR Waste and Materials Management Program.
"There are millions of pounds of unwanted, broken and out-of-date electronics in Wisconsin alone," Coakley said. "Electronics contain resources that are too valuable to waste, and we can help both our economy and the environment by recycling them."
It will also help the environment. Besides saving landfill space, electronics can contain harmful materials like mercury, lead, cadmium and other heavy metals, as well as chemical flame retardants. When disposed of improperly, these pollutants pose a risk to human and environmental health.
Recycling old electronics provides materials for manufacturing new products, including electronics. Properly recycling materials like steel, gold, silver, copper and glass from electronics reduces the need for mining and refining new materials.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Ann Coakley - (608) 261-8449
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Department of Natural Resources has a electronics disposal ban media kit available with more information on the electronics disposal ban, including a list of banned devices, recycling options and other resources.