Pittsboro, NC – Computer equipment and televisions will be banned from disposal in North Carolina landfills as of July 1, as required by NC Session Law 2010-67 passed last year by the General Assembly. This means, as of July 1, these items cannot go in the trash.
The law provides that televisions and computer equipment, which includes laptops, desktops, monitors, printers, scanners and peripherals such as mice and keyboards, cannot be disposed in any NC landfill. Other components of the law are designed to create statewide recycling opportunities for discarded electronics and to place significant responsibilities on electronics manufacturers to help fund and create those opportunities.
All computer manufacturers are required to offer at least a free mail-back program for their own equipment, and some will offer additional kinds of recycling options. A number of retailers also offer recycling of electronics, as do some nonprofit and charitable agencies. A comprehensive list of recycling options for residents and businesses can be found at p2pays.org/electronics/.
In preparation for the ban, Chatham County is expanding its existing electronics recycling program. Special recycling containers called E-Cycle Stations will be set up by July 1st at all 12 county Collection Centers to accept electronics weighing less than 50 pounds from county residents with a current decal. Residents are required to use these new containers and should not place electronics in the trash compactors or in bulky item bins. Collection Center attendants will show residents where to carefully place or stack these items. Due to privacy and safety concerns, all items in the E-Cycle Stations become the property of Chatham County and cannot be removed.
If electronic items are in good working order, and residents choose to leave them in the Swap Shop, they should make sure that all personal information has been removed from data storage. Residents are also encouraged to seek donation opportunities through local nonprofits and repair service companies. Call the Waste Management Department for guidance at (919) 542-5516.
During regular business hours (M-F, 7am to 4pm), the Chatham County Main Waste Management Facility at 720 County Landfill Road offers an E-Cycle Station for county residents disposing of electronic items weighing over 50 pounds. This E-Cycle Station is also open to small businesses and nonprofit organizations, and residents that live in the town limits of Pittsboro, Siler City, and Goldston. Anyone recycling electronics at this facility must first sign in at the county Waste Management office, and should bring someone to help unload heavy items. A decal is not currently required to recycle electronics at this location.
As outlined in the law, the General Assembly recognizes that discarded computer equipment and televisions are rapidly growing and complex waste streams. The disposal ban will help address the potential for toxic materials found in some electronics to enter solid waste landfills.
The ban also helps divert highly usable materials to a growing electronics recycling industry in the state. North Carolina is home to a number of major national and regional electronics processors with investments of plants and equipment exceeding $50 million that employ more than 300 North Carolinians.
“By capturing valuable materials for reuse and reducing our dependence on landfills, electronics recycling can help us achieve both our environmental and economic development goals,” said Dee Freeman, secretary of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “I encourage all North Carolinians to join in this effort to make the electronics disposal ban a success.”
Computer equipment and televisions join a list of other materials banned from disposal in North Carolina, which most recently have included plastic bottles, wooden pallets and oil filters. These bans have resulted in increased recycling of the materials and have helped spur further growth in the state’s recycling economy.
For a list of all items accepted in Chatham County’s Electronics Recycling Program, visit chathamnc.org/wastemanagement or call Teresa Chapman with the Chatham County Waste Management Department at (919) 542-5516.
For details on the new state law, please visit portal.ncdenr.org/web/wm/sw/electronics, or contact Scott Mouw with the Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach at email@example.com or (919) 715-6512.