Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin today reminded New Jersey residents that old TVs, computers and computer monitors – items known collectively as electronic waste, or e-waste – must be recycled as of the beginning of the new year, as required by the Electronic Waste Management Act.
The Electronic Waste Management Act bans the disposal of televisions and all personal or portable computers – including desktop, notebook and laptop computers, as well as computer monitors – in the regular waste stream beginning Jan. 1, 2011. Manufacturers of these devices will now be funding the collection of e-waste so that it is free for consumers.
The new law means residents can no longer put TVs, computers and monitors out on the curb for pickup under regular solid waste collection programs. Many residents will have to take these items to a drop-off point, such as a county or municipal solid waste collection center or a participating electronics retail store. Some municipalities already conduct special curbside pickup programs for recycling of e-waste and are expected to continue doing this.
All 21 counties and many municipalities already have e-waste recycling programs in place. These include special collection events and drop-off points. Best Buy stores and community-based service programs, most notably Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army, also accept these materials. In many cases, manufacturers will simply pick up the cost of operating these existing programs.
Residents should contact their county solid waste agency or municipal recycling coordinator for e-waste recycling options currently available in their communities. These options will continue to grow in the coming year. The DEP also is compiling a resource list to assist residents in finding collection points. A working draft of the list is available at www.recyclenj.org