Beginning January 24, 2013 your friendly garbage collector will no longer be able to collect ‘covered’ electronic devices in your trash. Pennsylvania’s Covered Device Recycling Act of 2010 requires “manufacturers of desktop computers, laptop computers, computer monitors, computer peripherals, televisions, etc., “to provide for the collection, transportation and recycling of these devices by establishing one-day events, permanent collection programs or mail-back programs.” Individuals may leave unwanted ‘covered’ electronic devices at various drop-off places like Goodwill stores.
Beginning January 2013 your friendly garbage trucker will no longer be able to collect ‘covered’ electronic devices in your trash. According to the DEP, the Covered Device Recycling Act of 2010 requires “manufacturers of desktop computers, laptop computers, computer monitors, computer peripherals, televisions, etc., “to provide for the collection, transportation and recycling of these devices by establishing one-day events, permanent collection programs or mail-back programs.” Worth noting is the absence of the following counties from the DEP’s Permanent Electronics Collection Centers list: for the following counties: Allegheny, Butler, Greene, and Washington,
Retail behemoth Walmart has announced that it is creating an ‘environmental ratings system’ that will help customers understand how eco-friendly is the production and marketing of all of its products.
Given its influence on retailing around the world, this could be a major step towards acceptance of the Cradle to Cradle concept by which we have to design and manufacture products in a way far different from the traditional path. (more…)
Included in the City of Pittsburgh’s Five Year Economic Recovery Plan recently approved by City Council is a plan to “Conduct an independent operational review of refuse, bulk waste and recycling collection to identify potential efficiencies and achieve a higher recycling rate, resulting in lower landfill costs and more Commonwealth grant funding.”
The plan points out that in 2007 only 10 pct of the residential waste in the city was recycled. According to a Waste News survey of the 30 largest cities, Seattle had the highest rate of about 52 pct, and seventeen cities had recycling rates above 15 pct. And that is the target that the City has set to achieve by 2013.
Some reactionary politicians scoff at the use of CFLs, suggesting that the small amounts of mercury can be a serious hazard. So just to be sure, our good friends at the PA Resources Council (PRC) on the Southside have sent us a list of places where we can recycle CFLs.
First, PRC explains that there are currently no regulatory requirements (federal or state) for individuals and/or home owners to recycle or dispose of their CFLs, fluorescent tubes, LED, or incandescent bulbs as hazardous waste since they are considered small quantity generators. Only businesses that produce larger quantities are required to do so.
So go replace your old incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, and when the CFLs do finally burn out, you can safely recycle them.
Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs have become increasingly popular in recent years because they are longer lasting than traditional light bulbs, cut electricity costs by up to 75 percent, and help reduce air pollution. However, they do contain small amounts of mercury and their disposal has to be done with care.
To that end, the Allegheny County Health Department, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, is offering a free collection program for recycling compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. (more…)
Recycling materials other the normal paper and plastics can sometimes be a challenge. Here are some suggestions:
Laptops and computers (but not monitors) can go, free, to “high tech scrap”, the computer recyclers’ bin at Construction Junction (412-243-5025).
Goodwill takes computers and peripherals. Parts that are functional and not too old are rebuilt and resold at attractive prices via the Goodwill computer store–reuse is even greener than recycling. Goodwill tackles ‘e-waste’, Tribune Review, 8-8-07.
Cell phones, laptops, digital cameras, PDAs and ink cartridges are worth good money and are often collected as fundraisers (phones are commonly worth $6-$30 each). GRC Wireless Recycling.
The local stereo recycling guy (see ads at the East End co-op in the co-op newsletter) picks up most stereo parts for free. Here’s his ad from the Co-Operator:
STEREO RECYCLERS — We buy old speakers, receivers, tape decks, turntables, etc., and put them back into circulation. We can repair and rebuild your worn out speakers. Don’t let unused stereo components sitting in storage end up in landfills. (412) 244-0337; shos15218 at comcast dot net
Paper and cardboard are always free for disposal at the city recycling areas (helping the city) or can be used to raise funds for charities when put in the fundraising bins (e.g. outside of Whole Foods).
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs can be dropped off at the following places:
64 South 14th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Free drop-off in the lobby
Robinson Town Centre
Free drop off
39th and Butler Street in Lawrenceville
.67 cents per bulb (also takes fluorescent tubes for a fee)
2008 HHW collection events
see their website for more information
Under .50 per bulb
Allegheny County Health Department
Clack Health Center, Building 5, Public Drinking Water and Waste Management Program
Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m
3901 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville.
Free – but for a limited time only!
For more on recycling, see this extensive site hosted by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Author: Donald L. Gibbon
My wife kept asking me what to do with batteries when they died, and I never had a satisfactory answer. I felt guilty enough that I finally googled up an answer: for $54 I could buy a fairly long term, environmentally sound solution called a “Big Green Box.” Here’s what it says on the website http://www.biggreenbox.com :
The Big Green Box is a national program that offers companies, consumers, municipalities, and other generators, a low cost, easy, and flexible way to recycle their batteries and portable electronic devices. Once The Big Green Box is purchased, all shipping, handling, and recycling fees are included. The Big Green Box includes a UN approved, pre-labeled container, pre-paid shipping to and from the recycling facility, and of course, all recycling fees.
So I did it and I’ve got the box and now I put all my old batteries in it. And I’m inviting you to do one of two things: bring your old batteries to monthly meetings and I’ll put them in my box. Or buy one for yourself and whoever wants to join you where you live or work. Together we can make a difference!
Other ways to make a difference:
Next time you buy batteries, spend a little more and invest in rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries and a charger. These batteries recharge up to hundreds or thousands of times and are just as powerful and effective as regular alkaline batteries.
Some local stores offer battery recycling. Drop off non-rechargeable household (alkaline) batteries at the E-House Company at 1511 E. Carson St. on the South Side. Take your rechargeable batteries (like the ones in cell phones, cordless phones and tools, cameras, etc.) to your nearby Radio Shack, Best Buy, or Home Depot. Dozens of other local drop-off centers/stores are listed at the website for the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation: http://www.rbrc.org.
If you have a special charger, regular “non-rechargeable” alkaline batteries can be recharged, but only about a dozen times. Buying a charger for this purpose is not as good of an investment as buying rechargeable batteries, but it’s better than throwing the batteries away.
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