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Electronic-Waste Recycling in Full Swing in PA

Throwing out that old TV? Not so fast, the Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act has taken effect. – Also, a list of upcoming e-waste collection events throughout the county.

Residents and businesses across Montgomery County, and throughout the state, are no longer allowed to toss out their old TVs, computers or other electronic devices with their regular trash pickup.

Instead, they will have to adhere to the Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA), which was passed in 2010 and went into effect Jan. 24.

According to a recent press release by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), unless a municipality has a curbside electronics collection program, trash haulers will not collect electronic devices and its components, and will leave them on the curbside. Such electronic devices must be taken to an electronics collection location for proper recycling.

“This law is an important step toward further reducing the amount of waste disposed in our landfills,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said in the release.

According to DEP literature on CDRA, as technology advances, electronic products become obsolete and “constitute one of the fastest growing streams of today’s consumer and commercial waste.”

Such e-waste contain both precious recyclable raw material, as well as hazardous materials that, when left in landfills, raise environmental and health concerns, according to the DEP.

The CDRA requires that manufacturers, retailers and consumers of covered devices take certain measures to ensure that such devices are properly recycled.

“We think it’s great. Before there wasn’t a consistent means of recycling such materials,” Charles Nygard, co-founder of the electronic recycling company eForce Compliance, said.

According to the CDRA, certain certifications must be achieved before a company may become an electronics recycling facility, including the R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices Standard) Certification and the e-Stewards Certification.

Founded in 1982, Nygard said the Philadelphia-based recycing company was among the first electronic recycling companies to achieve such certifications.

Nygard said nearly all electronic devices contain potentially hazardous heavy metals, which make putting them in landfills undesirable and potentially dangerous to the environment.

He also explained that the process of recycling electronics is both costly and meticulous. If the device cannot be reused, it is taken a part and stripped of precious metals and then given to vendors for metal reclamation. 

“We track material down to its raw material state,” Nygard said.

While consumers can bring their electronic devices to the eForce Compliance operation facility, or to other electronic recyling companies, eForce Compliance also provides free electronic collection events throughout the city and suburbs. These collection events are in partnership with municipalities, nonprofit groups and civic associations.

According to Nygard, eForce Compliance collected over 3-million pounds of electronics through its collection programs in 2012 and expects to nearly double the amount this year. [See list below for dates and location sites]

Most small, household electronic items will be accepted, but not larger appliances, such as refrigerators or washers and dryers. Residents should contact their respective municipalities to inquire about bulk trash collection.

According to Nygard, it will be up to the individual municipalities to enforce the law, but hopes that environmental education will guide consumers toward proper electronic recycling.

In addition to holding the collection events, Nygard said eForce Compliance was also the first to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency in its Sustainability Partnership Program. This program connects members with schools and municipalities to help promote recycling education.

Montgomery County also hosts an Electronic Collection Program. According to a county spokesperson, the 2013 schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

According to a flyer from Montgomery County’s 2012 schedule of electronic collection program events, items that would be accepted at electronic collection events include, but are not limited to:

  • Computer Monitors
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Fax Machines
  • Keyboards
  • VCRs/DVD players
  • Cable/Satellite Recievers
  • Cell Phones
  • Stereo and Radio equipment
  • Microwaves
  • Vaccuums
  • Other small household appliances

For more information, visit http://eforcecompliance.com or the Montgomery County recycling website.  

Below is a list of eForce Compliance electronic collection events in Montgomery County in 2013.

Date

Time

Place

Address

Feb. 2


9 a.m - 2 p.m


Whole Foods- Jenkintown


Whole Foods Jenkintown
1575 The Fairway
Jenkintown, PA 19046 Feb. 2 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Whole Foods - Plymouth Meeting


Whole Foods Plymouth Meeting
500 West Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 Feb. 9 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

King of Prussia Mall


King of Prussia Mall
160 North Gulph Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406 Feb. 16 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Upper Providence Township Upper Providence Administration Building
1286 Black Rock Road
Oaks, PA 19456 Feb. 23 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Abington Township


Abington Public Works Building
2201 Florey Lane
Abington, PA 19001 March 9 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

St. Helena's Blue Bell


St. Helena's Parking Lot
1489 Dekalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA 19422 April 20 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Upper Dublin Township

Upper Dublin Township Building
801 Loch Alsh Avenue
Fort Washington, PA 19034

June 22

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Abington Township

Upper Dublin Township Building
801 Loch Alsh Avenue
Fort Washington, PA 19034

Sept . 21

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Upper Dublin Township

Upper Dublin Township Building
801 Loch Alsh Avenue
Fort Washington, PA 19034 Sept. 28 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Conshohocken Borough

Conshohocken Borough
1 West 1st Avenue #200
Conshohocken, PA 19428

Nov. 9 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Abington Township

Abington Public Works Building
2201 Florey Lane
Abington, PA 19001

Stephen Eickhoff January 25, 2013 at 07:51 PM
I can see an unintended consequence here. When you have a recycling dropoff within a reasonable distance only about four times a year, and it's just in a four hour window, we're going to see a lot more old junk dumped by the side of the road.
Pat January 25, 2013 at 10:52 PM
The Dreaded Unintended Consequences. We Know that they will always appear and yet we regularly fail to even try to identify them in advance. You make an excellent point. The trash collectors should have been 'invited' to participate. A once a year drive incorporated in to the regular trash collection would be far more effective. Nygard could partner with Allied (or whatever name they are using now, Evergreen etc. There is not one collection on this list that is in the greater Lansdale area.
patchifier January 26, 2013 at 02:53 AM
That's always the problem with this. It's a great idea, but the implementation is terrible. There are far too few collections, and even when you do get to one, you often have to spend an hour in line. It's just not worthwhile unless you have a lot of stuff to dispose of. So instead people consider that even under the best intentions, their options are to either 1) track down a drop off, travel there, then wait in ridiculously long lines to dispose of their items, or 2) simply put it in the trash, with no real consequence for doing so.
Douglas Weiss January 26, 2013 at 03:07 AM
anybody who does not want to haul their stuff to these places can contact me at 610-751-6685 and ask for Douglas and i will come to you and pick it up anything and everything on that list.
E. Martinstadter January 26, 2013 at 06:22 AM
This isn't exactly "a consistent means of recycling such materials." This is rather scattered and will mean long lines and frustration.
Carolyn Nickels January 26, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Many of our local communities already have voluntary e-waste recyling at designated areas in the townships. Taking advantage of these in addition to the "events" is a step forward for our kids. I would like to see local "pick-ups" available for items (monster TVs, etc) too heavy to haul in or for folks that can't drive the e-waste to the events.
Charles Nygard January 26, 2013 at 05:29 PM
I can surely appreciate your concerns. Our company, eForce Compliance, has been successful in reducing the length of time to wait at our events under 5 minutes. We are the only company in the area that specializes in collection events and we staff only professionals with collection experience. This makes a huge difference as many other organizations who sponsor events who employ the use of volunteers and are woefully undermanned. We have also heard of the horrific wait times at the 5 county events and if we get that contract these lines will disappear. We agree with having more consistency in the collection process but since we are not reimbursed from the manufacturers right now we have to limit our service. We hope to expand in the future.
Charles Nygard January 26, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Also remember the new law references the use of only certified recyclers to the R2, e-Stewards and ISO 14001 standards. There are many who offer to preform the service for free but are not certified as the certification process is extensive and few companies can meet the high environmental health and safety requirements of the program. Recycle right with only certified recyclers who have the credentials required by the State.
Charles Nygard January 26, 2013 at 05:33 PM
I can surely appreciate your concerns. Our company, eForce Compliance, has been successful in reducing the length of time to wait at our events under 5 minutes. We are the only company in the area that specializes in collection events and we staff only professionals with collection experience. This makes a huge difference as many other organizations who sponsor events who employ the use of volunteers and are woefully undermanned. We have also heard of the horrific wait times at the 5 county events and if we get that contract these lines will disappear. We agree with having more consistency in the collection process but since we are not reimbursed from the manufacturers right now we have to limit our service. We hope to expand in the future.
Pat January 26, 2013 at 11:29 PM
The companies that sell these devices should be involved - voluntarily or not - in efforts to recycle them. They reap all the benefits while society is stuck with the repercussions.
Douglas Weiss January 27, 2013 at 12:20 AM
I would rather the companies who sell the stuff not be involved at all .its an open field with room to create small businesses that handle the pick up of electronic waste. Or the average person like me to pick them up disassemble them scrap the materials and recycle the plastic
Douglas Weiss January 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM
By forcing companies to take them back pa is essentially closing that field and restricting it to a select few
Cadillac Man January 27, 2013 at 05:37 PM
"Such e-waste contain both precious recyclable raw material, as well as hazardous materials that, when left in landfills, raise environmental and health concerns, according to the DEP." Sounds like they found a way to profit off of this waste! If the State of PA was so concerned about our environment, they would ban Fracking in PA. forever!!! Do you hear me Gov. Corbett!!! Oh I forgot you are on their payroll!!!! Ya POS!!!!
Peter Gibbons April 23, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Heavy rain + swollen creek = no more old TV
junkman bill April 26, 2013 at 01:49 PM
I'll take all your unwanted electronics......burn the plastic away in a barrel and you're left with great scrap metal leftover to sell
pruckels April 26, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Hope you're a fan of cancer if you do... http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123101615.htm Not to mention the impact that this activity would have on everyone in your area. But, hey, who wouldn't want to give kids asthma, cancer, you name it, when there's a couple of bucks worth of scrap metal to be had?

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