Electronics

-2016 Television Recycling Update-

In 2010, the PA state legislature passed a law banning many electronic devices – including televisions and computers – from landfills and incinerators.  The law also requires that manufacturers of these devices pay the costs of providing residents with free and convenient recycling alternatives.

Since the law took effect in 2013, many unexpected consequences of Act 108 have resulted in the reality that while it is illegal to dispose of TVs and computers via traditional trash collection, most Pennsylvanians do not have access to free or convenient recycling options for televisions in particular.

What this means to you: As of April 21st, 2016 PRC is still able to collect televisions and other monitors at it’s remaining 2016 Hard-to-Recycle Collection Events for a fee. However, this is a stop-gap solution, and permanent access to free and convenient television recycling remains unresolved.

Learn more about how to dispose of your e-waste safely at one of PRC’s many collection events!

For events in Western Pennsylvania click here or email Sarah Alessio Shea.  For events in Eastern Pennsylvania click here or email Jayne Young. Also, use the Inquiries Form below to find recycling options in your area.

Why Recycle Your Electronics?

1. It’s the law!

In 2010, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 108, the Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA) establishing a recycling program for certain household electronics or covered devices. The law requires electronics manufactures and retailers to be responsible for establishing or funding recycling programs.  The manufactures work with processors to collect material from the general public at events, retail stores, and semi-permanent drop off locations throughout the state.

A “Covered device” is a covered computer device and covered television device marketed and intended for use by a consumer.  This includes:

  • Covered computer devices – A desktop or notebook computer or computer monitor or peripheral, marketed and intended for use by a consumer.
  • Covered television device – Any direct view or projection television with a viewable screen of four inches or larger whose display technology is based on cathode ray tube, plasma, liquid crystal, digital light processing, liquid crystal on silicon, silicon crystal reflective display, light emitting diode or similar technology marketed and intended for use by a consumer primarily for personal purposes.
  • Peripheral – A keyboard, printer or any other device sold exclusively for external use with a computer that provides input into or output from the computer.

2. It Reduces Pollution!

The Consumer Electronics Association estimated in 2014 that more than 77 million old style tube TV’s remain in American households waiting to be recycled or disposed of. This represents as much as 269,500 pounds of lead, a well documented neuro toxin.

  • If these materials are disposed of improperly they can leach into our groundwater and soil
  • If electronics are not recycled/disposed of responsibly they may end up overseas where substandard working conditions lead to even greater environmental and health impacts

E-Scrap contains toxic materials (especially the older Cathode Ray Tube or CRT TVs)

  • Lead – neurotoxin
    • Found in the glass of a CRT (4-12 lbs per TV)
    • Used in TVs to shield against radiation and increase optical quality
  • Cadmium – carcinogen
    • Found in the CRT
    • Substance that exhibits phosphorescence
  • Berryllium – carcinogen
    • Used as an electrical connector in circuit boards/insulator for microproccesors
  • PVC – plastic
    • Toxic when burned
    • Plastic found in TV casings
  • Brominated Flame Retardants – possible endocrine disruptor
    • Found in the circuit boards and in the plastic casing
  • Mercury – toxin – causes brain and kidney damage
    • Some CRTs contain mercury and many flat panel TVs contain several mercury lamps to light the screen

PRC's Role

As a  leader in resource conservation and recycling PRC works to ensure the general public has the opportunity to safely, correctly and conveniently dispose of their electronic waste including TVs, Computers and more.  PRC works with e-scrap recyclers who maintain the highest industry standards to ensure materials are safely and responsibly managed. These eStewards must comply with strict environmental and social standards to maintain their certification.

As both an advocate for the citizens of Pennsylvania and an active provider of e-scrap recycling services PRC has paid close attention to the impacts of the CDRA since it became law. It is clear that while the CDRA has been somewhat effective it has fallen far short of its goal to provide free and convenient access to all Pennsylvanian’s for the recycling of old electronics. This is especially in relation to CRT’s and TV’s. Across the Commonwealth, communities are struggling to manage these devices as there are an ever shrinking number of firms capable of recycling them.

PRC continues to work with the Department of Environmental Protection and our state legislature to find solutions which will ensure residents can find a safe and responsible recycling option for their electronic devices.

Inquiries

Get answers on where to recycle items locally.