New Rules Apply To Discarded Electronic Equipment

A disposal ban on most electronics, known as covered devices, will go into effect in Pennsylvania beginning on Jan. 24 as part of the Covered Device Recycling Act passed in 2010 by former Gov. Ed Rendell.

The final provision of the CDRA makes it illegal for desktop computers, laptop computers, computer monitors, computer peripherals such as printers, keyboards, and mouses, tablets like iPads and Kindles, and televisions with viewable screens larger than four inches to be disposed of in state landfills.

Cell phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are still exempt from the law.

The ripple effect of the act, according to Lisa Kasianowitz, spokesperson for the state Department of Environmental Protection, is to hopefully prompt municipalities to start an electronics recycling program. “Municipalities themselves are not required to provide a recycling program, but it’s more about consumers, manufacturers and businesses becoming more responsible.”

Living in a township or borough that doesn’t have a recycling program? According to Kasianowitz, that won’t be a problem.

“There are multiple options you can still take advantage of,” she said. “Find an organization that takes electronics back. Best Buy will take back electronics that they didn’t sell. Goodwill will take computers and sometimes televisions as well. Call the companies themselves to see what they accept. You can re-sell your electronics on the internet or just give them away. Also, manufacturers who sell electronics have to take them back; they have to offer a free of charge return service in which they provide you with pre-paid packaging to recycle old electronics.”

For residents of Warren County, there are multiple locations to dispose of old electronics.

Mortenson Recycling in Sugar Grove will be adding an electronics drop-off starting on Jan. 26 and continuing the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

Owner John Mortenson said, “We’re going to collect items and have a reasonable amount of security for what’s considered sensitive. We are taking measures to make sure it’s not a free for all.”

In addition, Goodwill at the Warren Mall will also be accepting old electronics. According to Krystal Millson, store manager, electronics will be accepted as is between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and between noon and 5 p.m. Sunday. Anyone needing to schedule an after hours drop-off can call the store at 406-7072.

Advanced Disposal, formerly Veolia, was unavailable for comment.