Vermont’s ‘E-waste law’ will go into effect on Jan. 1

Posted
Tuesday December 28, 2010

BENNINGTON -- A state ban on disposing of computers, televisions and many other electronics with the regular trash, an effort to protect the environment, will take effect on Jan. 1.

In addition to outlawing "e-waste," the electronics waste law adopted this will set up a free collection program in every county of the state by July 2011. People can recycle many of the electronics banned from disposal in landfills -- including computers, monitors, printers, TVs, and peripherals, such as mice and keyboards. Locations have not yet been announced.

The new legislation is an attempt to keep hazardous materials from polluting the ground.

"Electronics contain potentially harmful materials such as lead and mercury, and potentially valuable materials such as copper and gold, so it doesn’t make sense for it to end up in a landfill," said Karen Knaebel, the Department of Environmental Conservation E-Waste coordinator. "Many Vermonters are already doing the right thing by e-cycling, but now it is the law. We want to get the word out -- recycle your electronic waste."

Electronic waste is the fastest growing component of waste in the country. In 2008, more than 1.6 million pounds of e-waste was collected by Vermont’s solid waste districts.

Manufacturers will pay for the e-waste collection and recycling program when the free collections begin.

Knaebel said there are about 20 other states that have e-waste laws.

Penalties for throwing the banned electronics in with regular trash will be figured on a case-by-case basis, with a maximum fine of $10,000, Knaebel said.

Electronics that must be recycled include computers, printers, monitors, mice, keyboards, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, MP3 players, stereo equipment, phones, video game consoles, fax machines, answering machines, satellite TV boxes, digital converter boxes, and electronic chargers and adapters.

Electronics can be recycled at various locations for fees already. In Bennington County, locations include Staples in Bennington for some electronics, the transfer stations in Shaftsbury, Sunderland, Winhall and Dorset.

Contact Dawson Raspuzzi at draspuzzi@benningtonbanner.com


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