Pennsylvanians will now have to think twice before tossing their old electronics to the curb.
The Covered Device Recycling Act, which goes into effect today, bans all covered devices from Pennsylvania landfills, Lisa Kasianowitz , information specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection , said.
“The new phase will prohibit consumers and businesses from throwing away electronic devices in the trash,” Kasianowitz said. “Trash haulers will simply not pick the items up.”
Computers, televisions, printers, iPads and Kindles are among the devices included in the ban, Kasianowitz said.
When electronics sit in landfills, there is a potential for hazardous liquids to leak out and contaminate groundwater, Amy Schirf , director of education for Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority , said.
Kasianowitz said the ban will do more than just help the environment.
“We can harvest the metals in the devices and reuse them,” Kasianowitz said. “It’s a win not just for environment, but for the economy also.”
In addition to melting down metals to resell, Kasianowitz said that stores could take back old electronics and resell them, providing less expensive alternatives for consumers.
Penn State has been recycling electronics for years through Lion Surplus , a public store that disposes of all university-owned equipment, Annette Bottorf , Lion Surplus technical equipment salesperson, said.
If electronics are in good enough condition, Lion Surplus will resell them, Bottorf said. If not, they are sent to a company called Creative Recycling which will safely recycle the equipment, she said.
In 2012 alone, 600,000 pounds of electronic scrap were recycled through Lion Surplus, Bottorf said.
In addition to recycling all university-owned electronics, Lion Surplus offers a service that allows students and faculty to drop off electronics free of charge on designated days, known as E-Cycle days.
The next E-Cycle day will take place on April 26, Bottorf said, and depending on the success of the drive, additional dates may be added.
Electronics can also be dropped off for free from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 253 Transfer Road in Bellefonte, Schirf said. Also, from May 13 to 17, electronics will be picked up curbside during the borough’s bulk waste collection. Individuals living in apartments are advised to call the borough in advance to notify them of the pickup, Schirf said.