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DEP Urges Consumers to Prepare for New Electronics Recycling Law

HARRISBURG -- The Department of Environmental Protection is advising consumers and businesses of new rules for recycling electronic devices that will take effect on Jan. 24, 2013.

Enacted in 2010, the Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act requires that consumers not dispose of covered devices, such as computers, laptops, monitors and televisions, with their trash. This means that trash haulers will no longer be able to take covered devices unless the municipality has a curbside electronics collection program that ultimately sends the devices to an electronics recycler.

“Proper recycling is important because there are millions and millions of devices; they have a limited useful life span; and they contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury as well as other materials that do not belong in the normal trash stream,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said.

Many devices also contain valuable metals such as gold, silver and platinum and base metals like copper, iron and aluminum that can be separated and reused in new products.

“We can all do our part to contribute to a healthier and cleaner environment by ensuring that these electronic devices are properly recycled and not placed in the trash,” Krancer added.

The law also requires manufacturers of devices to provide for the collection, transportation and recycling of these devices by establishing one-day events, permanent collection programs or mail-back programs.

Consumers can find more information on registered manufacturers and where to recycle covered devices at,

Additional recycling information is available from County Recycling Coordinators, whose contact information can be found on our Links page. DEP’s Recycling Hotline is 1-800-346-4242.

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