EPA Region 3
Topic: eCycling: Another life for used electronics
Size: : 3,445k
Date: February 15, 2013
Dan Gallo: Up to 95 percent of electronic materials, used electronic materials are recyclable or reusable in some fashion. The last thing we want to do is to put these things in landfills.
Host: Where are you taking old televisions, computers, monitors and mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets, pagers, walkie talkies and all those cables? They can be refurbished and then reused, or recycled for valuable component parts by ‘e-Cycling.’
Hello, I’m Lena Kim and welcome to Environment Matters, EPA’s series of environmental podcasts. Starting this January for Pennsylvanians, e-cycling isn’t just a good idea, it’s now part of a new state law banning electronic waste from landfills. Our guest Dan Gallo works at EPA promoting e-cycling - - the responsible reuse and recycling of electronics.
Dan Gallo: Very little has to go to waste. Most of the plastics are recyclable now and reusable. The precious metals, of course, are very valuable and can be recycled for further use. The glass can be recycled and reused from TV monitors, the computer monitors, which we call cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, they can be a recycled and reused.
Host: The quantity stored in homes and offices is astounding.
Dan Gallo: Over 200 million other devices such as televisions and PCs are also in storage in people’s homes and offices throughout the US that could be reused and recycled. 141 million mobile devices are in people’s basements or drawers waiting to be recycled or reused.
Host: Dan explains how simple and easy e-Cycling can be.
Dan Gallo: Two of my co-workers, who I recently talked to have had experiences where they have taken their personal computer and their 35 inch TV to Best Buy. They’ve taken them to the counter, a label was slapped on it, and they received a receipt for tax purposes. That was it. There were done with it.
So it’s an easy process and some locations and Best Buy is one of them, if it’s a larger item, you can call them and they come and pick it up to haul it away.
Dan Gallo: Starting in 2012, we signed up ten partners for the National Electronics Challenge. The National Electronic Challenge is the latest effort to promote the use of responsible electronic recycling. All of them have pledged to use certified electronics recyclers to handle the used electronics they take back from consumers. These are standards that bind the companies to have safe practice, safe workplaces for their workers, and also to responsibly handle the materials that they take back for their components and make sure that there is no harm done to the environment in the reuse and recycling of these used electronics.
Dan Gallo: If you go to our website, epa.gov/ecycling you will see the ten companies I’ve mentioned and you’ll see the items that they accept for recycling and reuse. We are not endorsing any particular one, but those are some of the most common ones that are easily available to most residents.
Host: Dan recommends EPA’s website at epa.gov/ecycling. Click on “where can I donate or recycle my used electronics”. Thank you Dan, and thank you for joining us for Environmental Matters, EPA’s series of environmental podcasts.[music fades]