Beginning July 1, Coloradans may no longer dispose of electronics along with their household trash because many landfills may no longer accept ewaste.
Under the Electronic Recycling Jobs Act, most businesses, government agencies, institutions, factories and related industries and schools already are subject to e-waste disposal restrictions. Those restrictions will apply to individuals this summer.
The new law covers disposal of televisions, central processing units, computer monitors and related items, printers and fax machines, all kinds of laptops and notebook computers, DVD players, VCRs and any video display device with a screen larger than 4 inches, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The ban also includes radios, stereo equipment and video game consoles. Telephones, motor vehicle components and nonhazardous industrial or commercial devices still may be legally dumped in a landfill.
Wolf Kray, a CDPHE recycling specialist, encourages people to recycle their e-waste through community collection events, manufacturer take-back programs or a reputable electronics recycling company -- and to protect personal information from identity theft before recycling. "Just erasing and reformatting the hard drive is not enough. To be really protected, you need to use disk-wiping software or use a recycler who performs certified data destruction by physically shredding all information storage devices at its facility," Kray said.
The Electronic Recycling Jobs Act is intended to create jobs while also preserving valuable materials that can be reused. Most electronics contain precious metals such as copper, engineered plastics and other materials that require considerable energy to mine, process and/or manufacture.
For more information, call the health department's recycle hotline at 583-4924.
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