New Pa. electronics recycling rules take effect

January 24, 2013 3:05:18 PM PST
A new state law prevents Pennsylvanians from throwing out computers and similar electronics with the rest of their household trash.

Mandatory electronics recycling took effect Thursday, and covers computers, laptops, tablets, monitors and televisions.

Residents can't put them out on the curb unless their municipality has an electronics recycling program.

Manufacturers are required to set up methods to recycle the material at no cost to consumers.

Details about recycling centers and programs are available on the state Department of Environmental Protection's website.

County recycling officials also can direct people to the proper way to dispose of electronics.

Action News went to certified recycler eForce Compliance in Grays Ferry. There, staffers remove major components - lead batteries are separated from copper wiring, steel frames and glass pictures tubes.

The idea is to keep potentially harmful materials like lead and mercury from getting into landfills or third-world dumps.

Jay Segal, of eForce, made the point that recycling means reusing.

Every piece of copper, every pound of steel gets back into the system. Your old computer might be turned into a Toyota someday," Segal said.

Pennsylvania is the 25th state to impose electronic recycling.