Welcome 2020! Did your holiday wishlist include a new tablet or computer? Are you getting ready for the Super Bowl with a new television? Are you looking to improve your school or workplace effectiveness with a new printer? If you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions you may be curious on what to do with your old electronic devices. We have got you covered, dispose of it properly with e-waste recycling!

The current Electronic Waste Law in New Jersey requires the recycling of electronic devices such as desktop or personal computers, computer monitors, portable computers (such as I-Pads and tablets), desktop printers, desktop fax machines, and televisions sold to a consumer.

Why recycle electronic waste?
Well, it’s the law. It’s also an environmentally-friendly choice. The disposal of electronic waste in landfills and other areas can cause environmental hazards. For example, the illegal dumping of cathode tubes (found in older televisions, computer monitors, video cameras and other devices) can cause the release of lead, barium amongst other heavy metals leaking into groundwater and the release of toxic phosphor. The electronic devices are composed of valuable materials which require energy to mine and manufacture including glass, plastics and metals. The recycling of these materials avoids the release of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the manufacturing of these materials for future uses while also conserving natural resources. According to an estimate by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) estimates that recycling one million laptops conserves enough electricity to power more than 3,500 homes annually!

Is my personal information safe with recycling e-waste?
Personal computers contain a wealth of personal information including banking information, photos, passwords and documents. Most people are concerned when disposing of their computers that this sensitive information may end up in the wrong hands. Here in Hudson County, hard drives are removed and shredded prior to the remainder of the device being sent to be dismantled and recycled. This will allow residents with the peace of mind that their personal information is secure.

Who pays for e-waste recycling in New Jersey?
Remember how we told you that recycling items such as bottles and cans cost local governments money while cardboard is a money maker? Under current law, electronics manufacturers are responsible to bear the cost and obligation of recycling e-waste. A few years ago, the New Jersey State Legislature amended the law as the result of the decline in the e-waste market in the State which caused many manufacturers to reduce the amount paid to recycling vendors. In addition, manufacturers are required to meet their e-waste recycling obligation or face action by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

What’s the process for recycling E-Waste?
We’re glad that you asked! The process varies depending on the type of electronic material being recycled. For example, computers and printers are placed through a heavy-duty shredder to break them down into smaller chunks. These chunks are then sent through an optical sorting system which, using lasers, will identify the properties of each chunk and places them into bins for individual recyclable materials such as plastics, metals and computer chips. These bins are then sold for re-purposing. The plastics used in computers are composed of flame-retardant materials which are then reused towards the production of new electronic devices.

Older electronics, such as CRT monitors, must be dismantled by hand. CRT monitors have a layer of lead located behind the glass. This layer of lead was included to serve as protection from the beams of electrons which produced images on the screen. In fact, a CRT monitor could contain up to 8 pounds of lead. The lead is extracted and smelted in order to keep these materials from contaminating soil and groundwater.

Hudson County E-Waste Recycling
The HCIA offers residents several different options for the safe disposal of electronics at no cost. Hudson County residents may bring their old computers, monitors, mice keyboards and cell phones to their semi-annual collection days for recycling. Check out our Calendar of Events and follow us on social media for HHW Collection Days throughout the County beginning this Spring.

The HCIA has also set up Electronics Drop Boxes in locations across Hudson County which allow residents to easily drop off their old devices. Residents may bring approved recyclables for these containers including: cables, cameras, computers and peripherals, DVD/Blu-Ray players, VCRs, keyboards, laptops, mice, monitors, desktop printers and fax machines, radios and stereo components, scanners and televisions. Visit our website for more information on Hudson County E-Waste Collection Sites or download the Recycle Coach App for additional information at your fingertips!

Whether you received a new laptop for Christmas or are shopping for a new television for the Big Game, don’t forget to properly dispose of your old electronic devices. The HCIA offers Hudson County residents the ability to properly dispose of them free of charge.


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