E-waste News from PennFuture

Julie Slavet
Aug 17, 2009

Check out all this cool e-waste news from the most recent PennFuture newsletter:

Podcast of the Week: Your computer’s dead. Now what?
In this week’s podcast, PennFuture’s western Pennsylvania Outreach Coordinator Joylette Portlock takes you on an audio tour of eLoop LLC, an ethical electronics recycling firm in Plum Borough, just outside of Pittsburgh. You’ll hear Ned Eldridge, eLoop’s president and CEO; Penny Holden, vice president of sales; and Jimmi Burns, director of operations, describe the recycling process step-by-step. You’ll learn exactly how our electronic waste the fastest growing waste stream in the world should be disposed of. Turns out our televisions, computers, cell phones, PDAs, printers, etc., are full of toxic chemicals that must be disposed of as hazardous waste, and precious metals and other valuable components that can be reused.

Unfortunately, there is no law in Pennsylvania banning all this electronic waste from our landfills. But that could change. Two e-recycling bills currently before the Pennsylvania General Assembly – HB 708 and SB 816. These bills will require manufacturers of electronics to take back their old products and arrange for them to be responsibly recycled. HB 708 has been approved by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and could be scheduled for a vote by the full House soon. SB 816 is currently before the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

In late June, PennFuture, eLoopLLC, and the Pennsylvania Resources Council held a special electronics recycling event as part of the Black and Gold City Goes Green Campaign. With just a few days notice, more than 350 Pittsburghers brought their old electronics to Heinz Field and paid to recycle three truckloads – about 20 tons – of old televisions, computers and more. The effort kept between six and seven tons of lead out of landfills.

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