Televisions, computers, electronic tablets, e-book readers, and monitors that have been replaced by new electronic holiday gifts cannot be tossed into the trash but must be recycled as required by the state's one-year-old Electronic Waste Management Act. This legislation resulted in the recycling of an estimated 40 million pounds of e-waste last year in New Jersey, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said in a press release issued today. This is a five-fold increase in e-waste tonnage over the approximately 8 million pounds collected in 2010, and an amount that is expected to increase this year as the program expands and improves in all 21 counties in New Jersey.
Electronic waste makes up 2 percent of the solid waste disposed in New Jersey, but is growing two to three times faster than any other part of the solid waste stream as a result of consumer demand for new technologies and the disposal of old devices.
Improperly handling discarded electronics, without proper controls, or simply tossing the materials in the trash can expose hazardous chemical compounds that are known to negatively affect human and environmental health. The Electronic Waste Management Act, which took effect Jan. 1, 2011, bans disposal of televisions and all personal or portable computers in the regular waste stream. Manufacturers of these devices now fund the collection of e-waste so that it is free for consumers.
State residents can no longer put TVs, computers and monitors out on the curb for regular trash collection pickup. Instead, these items must be taken to a drop-off point.
While the ACUA does not accept e-waste for disposal or recycling, many towns offer collection centers, and some electronics retailers also participate. Best Buy stores statewide and community-based service programs, such as Goodwill also accept these materials.
For more information on electronics recycling in Atlantic County, click here.
For more information on New Jersey's E-Cycle program http://www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/ewaste/index.html.