Constant updates in technology such as radios, smartphones, and televisions have caused a surplus of broken and obsolete electronics that all too often are thrown into the garbage, known as electronic waste, or e-waste.
E-waste often contains toxic chemicals and hazardous materials. If these products aren’t disposed of properly, the substances can become hazardous!
E-waste recycling is a process that seeks to recover e-waste material so that it can be reused for new products. Rumpke has options to make it easier for commercial businesses and homeowners to discard and recycle e-waste.
We offer on-site disposal services as well as shipping containers for businesses who need help managing a large volume of e-waste, while local solid waste management districts can point you to safe residential e-waste drop off centers.
What Is Considered E-Waste?
E-waste refers to electronic products that are no longer in use. It’s important that consumers consider how they can donate or reuse technology, but if the product is broken or no longer usable, consider recycling so it can be disassembled and used to create new electronic products.
Electronic waste is accepted in many forms. Items commonly accepted include:
- Small appliances, such as electric cookers and microwaves
- No refrigerators
- Air conditioners
- VCR and DVD players
- Desktop computers and laptops
- Cell phones
- Hard drives
- Circuit boards
- Computer monitors and flat screens
Electronic Recycling Best Practices
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)encourages donating equipment for reuse e-waste recycling.
Electronic items may contain lead, chromium, cadmium, mercury, or other hazardous metals. Companies and laboratories are required to monitor their waste and must determine if a material or item contains metals at regulated levels. A toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) analysis on waste can determine if it exhibits the characteristics of toxicity.
Indiana General Assembly established Indiana E-Cycle to reduce the amount of electronic waste being sent to landfills. Guidelines ensure that hazardous substances found in electronic waste are managed in an environmentally responsible manner.
Indiana manufacturers are responsible for collecting and recycling devices such as televisions, computer monitors, laptops, and tablets equal to at least 60% by weight of the devices they manufacture and sell to Indiana households.
Registered manufacturers can work with collectors and recyclers to meet their recycling obligation. Households, public schools, and small businesses also have a role in the program and are subject to the disposal prohibition.
In Kentucky, the Division of Waste Management encourages responsible recycling.
Electronic waste generated outside of the home is subject to federal and state law and is treated as hazardous waste for specific quantities and conditions.
West Virginia no longer has a ban on discarding e-scrap, but manufacturers of covered electronic devices (CED) are required to register with the state of West Virginia to be authorized for sales. Businesses and residents alike are encouraged to recycle e-waste.
How Is E-Waste Collected?
For commercial customers, Rumpke collects e-waste via on-site collection and shipping containers.
We offer several options for commercial e-waste management, and also encourage residential customers to drop off e-waste at e-waste recycling and disposal centers identified by the local solid waste management districts.
(Check out how to properly dispose hazardous waste.)
Rumpke offers a variety of indoor and outdoor container options to meet the needs of your recycling program.
Options include, but are not limited to:
- Wheeled carts (65- and 95-gallon) for small-volume generators
- Personal deskside boxes
- Gaylord boxes
- Open-top recycling containers
- Compactor services
- Trailers for large-volume generators
Commercial recycling containers ranging from 2- to 8-cubic yards offer extra space for e-waste recycling.
Can electronics be thrown in the regular trash?
No! Improperly discarded e-scraps contain toxic chemicals, metals including lead, chromium, cadmium, mercury, and other hazardous materials. Instead, contact the local solid waste management district for disposal and recycling options.
Are there any electronics that cannot be recycled?
Anything containing mercury or lead requires special handling and should not be mixed with e-waste. LCD televisions and monitors, as well as older TVs (pre-1991, per the EPA) may contain mercury. Old cathode ray tube televisions also contain lead and cannot be recycled.
Rather than recycling lithium-ion batteries, you can usually return those directly to the manufacturer to save a step in the process.
Do electronics need to be separated from other recyclable materials?
It’s always best to separate e-waste from regular recyclables and solid waste. E-waste is not accepted in Rumpke’s curbside recycling program.
Let Rumpke Handle Your Electronic Waste
Rumpke helps businesses take the worry out of managing universal and electronic waste such as batteries, ballasts, computer monitors, and copiers. We’ll help eliminate your liability and recycle as many materials as possible.
When it comes to choosing a commercial recycling service for your business, know that we offer a full range of services to meet your needs including office trash removal and recycling, industrial waste management, and construction site waste management services. We also offer residential customers single-stream recycling services for most items.
We have nearly 100 years of experience to know what it takes to create cleaner and greener communities. Get in touch with us today to learn about our programs that can help your business stay compliant and eliminate liability through proper waste and recycling solutions.
Fill out our service request form to get started, today!