The state Department of Environmental Protection is reminding residents that televisions, computers, electronic tablets, e-book readers, and monitors that have been replaced by new electronic holiday gifts cannot be thrown out with the trash, but must be taken to designated recycling collection points as required by state law.
The state's Electronic Waste Management Act, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2011, covers televisions and all personal or portable computers including desktop, notebook and laptop computers, and computer monitors. Manufacturers of these devices fund the collection of e-waste so that it is free for consumers.
The law does not require recycling of cell phones, DVD players, VCRs, game consoles, or other electronic devices, although retailers and service organizations provide drop-off opportunities for recycling of these items.
Discarded TVs, computers and computer monitors contain lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, zinc, brominated flame retardants, and other potentially hazardous materials, while Cathode Ray Tubes, or CRTs, contain large amounts of lead that is used to shield consumers from radiation.
Devices covered by the law must be taken to a drop-off point, such as a county or municipal collection center or a participating electronics retail store. Most municipal and county drop-off points require proof of residency.
Many electronics retailers, including Best Buy and Staples, and community-based service programs, most notably Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army, also accept these materials.
Residents should contact their county solid waste agency or municipal recycling coordinator for e-waste recycling options currently available in their cities and towns.
Since the law took effect it has dramatically increased the amount of e-waste that is recycled in the state. Through the third quarter of 2012, more than 62 million pounds of e-waste have been diverted from the regular waste stream.
For more information including details on local disposal sites see nj.gov/dep/dshw/ewaste.
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