NOVEMBER 19, 2013 BY
Fifth in our installment of Recycling Public Service Announcements at Steamboat’s own TV18: Electronic Waste
As of July 2013, residents of Colorado are in violation of new solid waste regulations when they dump electronic waste in the trash, or at an unknown dumpster. While it has been for many years and continues to be a violation of the hazardous waste regulations for industry, businesses, and government agencies to dispose of any electronic waste that exhibits one or more characteristics of hazardous waste in municipal solid waste landfills, Senate Bill 12-133 bans landfill disposal of certain electronic wastes from households.
What is the hazardous waste these devices include? Electronic devices contain a number of hazardous elements such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and silver. Computer batteries also may contain nickel-cadmium, lithium or sealed lead acid. These materials are not a concern when equipment is in use, but these harmful internal chemicals could contaminate groundwater and soil if disposed of in an improperly-lined landfill.
Electronics that are banned from disposal include: all rechargeable batteries (for more on batteries see tip 8), cell phones, ipods and MP3 players, cameras, computers & computer monitors, televisions, printers, fax machines, DVD & VCR players, peripherals such as the keyboard & mouse, radios & stereos, video game consoles, laptops, netbooks & tablets.
If a device is still in good operating condition you can donate it to a local thrift shop or school, but make sure to have a professional wipe it clean of all your sensitive data. If the device no longer works you should contact your waste hauler to arrange a pick-up or bring it to one of the many retailers that accept electronic waste. In most cases a nominal fee is required. For rural Steamboat you can bring the above items listed to the Waste Management office on Downhill Drive.
Most small electronics (ipods, cell phones, small cameras) can be donated via our cell-phone drop off sites at Wells Fargo, the YVSC office, and several public schools.
In addition, once a year, YVSC and partners team up to facilitate a Community Recycles Drop Off Day that includes an Electronic Recycling booth.