Batteries & e-Waste
Disposal of used consumer electronics and batteries is a growing concern for solid waste professionals across the country. Consumer electronics typically contain toxins such as lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, beryllium, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and brominated flame retardants. Batteries contain cadmium, copper, zinc, lead, manganese, nickel and lithium.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, two million tons of "tech trash" ended up in landfills in 2005, with less than 10% being recycled. Manufacturer take-back programs are growing in popularity, as is the concept of "Extended Producer Responsibility" - an emerging concept in which manufacturers assume some or all of the burden of recycling their products. Until the concept is universal, local governments must take the initiative to recycle electronic items and batteries.
Lincoln, CA provides a program to residents in which their e-waste can be picked up by appointment. The city has also provided a list and photos of the items they accept on their website.
Toronto, Ontario has a free program for the disposal of e-waste, which can be picked up with garbage, dropped off at a depot, a community environment day, or donated.
Irving, TX has a webpage dedicated to recycling electronics. The city provides residents with good information on why e-waste should be recycled.
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