Got a new TV, laptop or other electronic device as a holiday gift?
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is reminding residents not to toss old electronics in the trash.
The state’s year-old Electronic Waste Management Act requires residents to properly recycle e-waste.
The NJ DEP estimates New Jerseyans generated 40 million pounds of recycled e-waste last year, which is a 500% increase over the approximately 8 million pounds collected in 2010—and the number is only expected to go up.
"This program has been a great initial success in helping to clean up our state, to ensure these old TVs and computers do not end up in landfills or incinerators,'' NJ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin stated in a release.
The goal is to keep substances which are harmful to humans and the environment out of the waste stream. Televisions, computers and computer monitors contain lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, zinc, brominated flame retardants, and other materials. While Cathode Ray Tubes, or CRTs, contain large amounts of lead that is used to shield consumers from radiation.
The Electronic Waste Management Act, which took effect Jan. 1, 2011, bans disposal of televisions and all personal or portable computers—including desktop, notebook and laptop computers, as well as computer monitors—in the regular waste stream. Manufacturers of these devices now fund the collection of e-waste so that it is free for consumers.
Instead of putting e-waste items in the trash, Essex County residents have a number of options:
- Hold on to their e-waste and bring to Essex County’s Computer and Electronics Recycling Days, which are held each spring and fall at the Essex County Fleet Maintenance Garage in Cedar Grove.
- Contact New Jersey Electronics Disposal & Recycling Center at 732-469-9774 and arrange for the collection and disposal of electronics listed here.
- Bring items to Best Buy stores statewide which accept e-waste.
- Or bring e-waste to community-based service programs, such as Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army, which also accept these materials.
It's important to note that the Electronic Waste Management Act does not cover cell phones, DVD players, VCRs, game consoles, or other electronic devices, although some retailers and service organizations provide opportunities for recycling these items.
For more information, visit http://www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/ewaste/index.html