‘Tis the Season for E-Waste.

28 Nov 2011

The holiday shopping season is here and a number of us will be getting new electronic tools and toys next month as gifts.  The end result is that many (or at least those who can’t sell them on ebay) will simply throw their obsolete electronics into the garbage.  Most electronics, however, contain hazardous materials that can be problematic if released into the environment such as lead in solder, cadmium in circuit boards and mercury in batteries.

Although it is still legal in Michigan for households to throw their old electronics in the trash, several landfills are no longer accepting certain electronics such as older televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes (CRTs).  More and more communities, manufacturers and retailers are sponsoring take-back programs though (Producer Responsibility Laws – a coming trend?) — and many are free. To find out if there is a community collection program available, contact your local recycling or household hazardous waste program.

If you are not a household, but instead are a business in Michigan, you are responsible for complying with the regulations that apply to your business.  If you don’t know what classification your business fall into (e.g., do you qualify as a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator?), you should find out to make sure that you are in compliance.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Arthur or me.


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