Gloucester County Times - Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli, and Assemblywoman Celeste Riley are encouraging residents to recycle electronic waste as spring season cleaning begins.
As the weather improves and residents start cleaning around the house, it becomes important for items that contain personal information to be disposed of properly.
Unwanted televisions, computers, electronic tablets, e-book readers, and monitors cannot be simply put into the trash, but must be recycled as required by the state's year-old Electronic Waste Management Act. The Act generated an estimated 40 million pounds of recycled e-waste last year in New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. 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.
“We have to ensure that electronic waste is recycled and that everyone has convenient options for recycling,” said Senate President Sweeney. “Improperly handling discarded electronics, or throwing them in the trash can expose hazardous chemical compounds that are known to negatively affect human and environmental health.”
“Under the Electronic Waste Act items such as TVs, computers and monitors may not be placed on the curb for regular trash collection pickup,” said Assemblyman Burzichelli. “Instead, these items must be taken to a drop-off point, such as a county or municipal solid waste collection center or a participating electronics retail store.”
“Recycling electronic products helps maintain a clean environment and protects human health,” said Assemblywoman Riley. “Residents should contact their county solid waste agency or municipal recycling coordinator for e-waste recycling options currently available in their cities and towns.”
The effort to manage the amount of waste generated while conserving natural resources can best be summarized by the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
• Reduce the amount and toxicity of trash you throw away by properly disposing electronic items.
• Reuse containers and products.
• Recycle as much as possible and buy products with recycled content.
Many municipalities, as well as various public and private organizations, hold special events and collection schedules to accept old electronics for handling their disposal appropriately.
Residents should contact their municipality for additional information about recycling programs and contact their county to get upcoming dates and locations for hazardous and special waste collection events:
• Cumberland County – Residents should call 856-825-3700 ext. 129 for details.
• Salem County – Residents should call 856-935-7900 ext. 15 for details.
• Gloucester County – Residents should call 856-478-6045 ext. 14 for details.
For more information on New Jersey's E-Cycle program, including a list of e-waste recycling locations statewide, a connection to all 21 county recycling web sites, and information for consumers on "front door'' pickup service to deal with extra heavy televisions or for people with special needs, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/ewaste/index.html.