Vail Daily, June 26, 2013
Beginning July 1, Eagle County residents may no longer dispose of most electronic waste in their household trash because Colorado landfills will be banned from accepting it. The change is the result of a state law enacted in 2012 known as the Electronic Recycling Jobs Act.
“Eagle County is ahead of the curve on this — we already have a Household Hazardous Waste Facility at the landfill,” said County Solid Waste and Recycling Director Ken Whitehead. “The law doesn’t require us to do anything we’re not already doing, except now people won’t have the option to put this stuff in the landfill.”
The new regulations apply to televisions; computers, computer monitors and peripherals; laptops and notebook computers; printers and fax machines; DVD players and VCRs; and any video display device with a screen larger than 4 inches. The ban also includes radios, stereo equipment and video game consoles.
Drafters of the 2012 legislation say electronic devices should be kept out of landfills and properly recycled to recover materials and reduce the energy demands from mining and manufacturing.
Electronics are made from resources such as precious metals, copper and engineered plastics, all of which require considerable energy to process and manufacture.
Recycling electronics recovers valuable materials and as a result, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, saves energy and saves resources by reducing the need for raw materials.
The Electronic Recycling Jobs Act is also intended to create employment opportunities.
According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Washington, D.C., recycling one ton of waste sustains 10 jobs for every one landfill job.
Most businesses, government agencies, institutions and schools are already subject to e-waste disposal restrictions. Telephones, motor vehicle components and non-hazardous industrial or commercial devices may still be legally disposed of in Colorado landfills.
For more information on the new law, visit www.colorado.gov/cdphe/ewaste. For information on Eagle County’s recycling, Household Hazardous Waste facility and trash disposal programs, visit www.eaglecounty.us/recyclingwaste or call 970-328-3470.