Wednesday, January 18, 2012

That's all your house is--it's a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.  
      George Carlin

And many of us find ourselves with a stash of old stuff that we're not sure how to dispose of properly.  Electronic waste is a special concern. Televisions, computers, monitors and printers contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals. If these electronics end up in landfills, these toxic substances can leach into groundwater. Large quantities of electronic waste have been transported overseas where improper handling has resulted in the poisoning of people as well as the environment.

Last year, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a law that,  effective January of 2013, prohibits electronic waste from being put out with the regular trash. In my community, Mt. Lebanon, a ban on electronic waste being placed in trash collected by the municipality has been in effect since September of last year.

So, how do we responsibly and lawfully dispose of these items?  eLoop, an electronics recycling company, maintains several "eCycling Centers" in Allegheny County; these centers accept a variety of ewaste for free recycling.  One of these centers is the South Hills location of Batteries Plus, located in Castle Shannon. Also, Goodwill stores and attended donation centers in our area accept personal computers and related equipment for refurbishing and recycling.

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