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NEWS AND INFORMATION

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New Electronic Recycling Law

New Jersey's new Electronic Waste Management Act went into effect on January 1 requiring TVs, computers and monitors and other items known as e-waste to be recycled. The new law means residents can no longer put these devices out on the curb for pickup with regular solid waste.

Environmental commissions can play a key role in keeping these items out of the solid waste stream by finding out what options are available for local e-waste recycling. They can help residents understand the importance of complying with the new law, because e-waste contains lead, mercury, cadmium and other toxins. Cathode Ray Tubes, or CRTs, contain large amounts of lead that is used to shield consumers from radiation.

All 21 counties and many municipalities already have e-waste recycling programs, including special collection events and drop-off points. Best Buy stores and community-based service programs, most notably Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army, also accept these materials. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is compiling a resource list to assist residents in finding collection points. A working draft of the list is available at www.recyclenj.org.

Manufacturers of these devices will now be funding the collection of e-waste so that it is free for consumers. The new law also contains strict provisions to ensure that, once collected, the materials are recycled properly and in accordance with state and federal laws.

The Act does not cover cell phones, DVD players, VCRs, game consoles, or other electronic devices, although some retailers and service organizations provide opportunities for recycling these items.

Paramus Environmental Commission
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