Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Keep PA Beautiful Testifies About Rampant Illegal Dumping Of Electronics Waste

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Monday provided testimony to the Joint House-Senate Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee at a public hearing concerning the Covered Device Recycling Act (Act 108 of 2010), urging members to take action to ensure that every resident in the state has access to convenient and affordable trash disposal and recycling.
The Covered Device Recycling Act (Act 108), enacted in 2010, prohibits the acceptance of ‘covered devices’ such as televisions, computers, computer monitors and all peripherals, at all PA solid waste facilities.
This prohibits residents from putting them out at the curb for pickup. The law also stipulates that recyclers cannot charge a fee to offset the cost of proper disposal as costs for collection, transportation and recycling are to be borne by the manufacturer.
A combination of these and other factors has created an imbalance of supply and demand causing many electronics collection programs to shut down leaving a growing number of Pennsylvania residents without access to recycling options for their outdated electronic consumer goods, particularly old televisions and monitors.
“People have resorted to dumping TVs and other electronic devices illegally on vacant lots, in wooded areas, and over riverbanks. We are finding piles of stripped televisions-carcasses of broken plastic and shards of leaded glass scattered in open fields and on dead-end streets,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
“We know there is less illegal dumping in areas where there is universal access to waste and recycling collection, we know if residents cannot dispose of bulky items at the curb or at a convenient drop off center, public works crews and volunteers are more likely to see them dumped along the roads and over hillsides,” said Reiter.
Reiter goes on to explain, “All of this is costing our communities valuable resources and is polluting our environment. Remediation of illegal dumpsites costs $614/ton with the average community cleanup costing $2,947. The illegal dumping of hazardous electronic waste, which often contains lead, cadmium and mercury, poses a threat to public health. The electronics crisis we are facing is only making matters worse.”
To help Pennsylvanians better understand Act 108, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has launched www.eWastePA.org, a consumer resource for electronics recycling in Pennsylvania.
“Our goal is to educate consumers about the law itself, explain why there is value in recycling those materials and why it is important to handle these materials properly. The site shares what resources are available to consumers, how to do the right thing, and urges them, if there is no outlet, to hold on to the materials until the law is fixed,” explained Reiter. “We know Pennsylvanians want to do the right thing and dispose of their e-waste properly.”
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful works with communities all across the state through a broad network which includes more than 30 county and municipal affiliates and thousands of community partners.
In total, more than 2 million volunteers have cleaned up more than 121 million pounds of trash from Pennsylvania roadsides, riverbanks, community parks, vacant lots, rivers and streams. Through various special collection programs, the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful network has properly disposed of 830,000 tires and recycled more than 3 million pounds of electronics.  
“Since 1990, our organization has developed a certain level of expertise for cleaning up trash - from roadside litter to 300 ton dumpsites. Our goal, however, isn’t to clean up trash, it is to prevent these materials from being dumped in the first place,” stated Reiter.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from KPB, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Discover them on Pinterest and visit their YouTube Channel.
Also visit the Illegal Dump Free PA website for more ideas on how to clean up communities and keep them clean and KPB’s new Electronics Waste website.
Sign up now for the 2016 Great American Cleanup of PA and set up your own cleanup and beautification event through May 31.
Related Stories:
York County Solid Waste Authority To Re-Launch Electronics Recycling Program

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