Although the use of electronic devices like computers and TVs enhances our lives, they can pose a big problem when they no longer work. Electronic equipment contains significant amounts of many hazardous substances like arsenic, lead, mercury, vinyl chloride, benzene, PCBs, cadmium, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
These substances are not safe to place in landfills. WLSSD has banned electronic waste from disposal in the trash. In 2006, the State of Minnesota also specifically banned cathode ray tubes from disposal in trash.
MN State Statute 115A.9565
Effective July 1, 2006, a person may not place in mixed municipal solid waste an electronic product containing a cathode-ray tube. A Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT) is the display device used in most computer monitors and televisions.
So where do I recycle my TVs, computers and other electronics?
The WLSSD Materials Recovery Center accepts some small electronics from residents for free and others for $2 to $10 each.
|Small Electronic: Keyboard, Mouse, Digital Camera, Rechargeable Battery, Cell Phone||FREE|
CPU (computer tower), Laptop, Printer, Scanner, Fax Machine, Video Player (VCR, DVD player, DVR, etc.)
|Video Equipment with screen 7" or larger, TV or Monitor up to 19"||$5 each|
|Standard or Flat Screen TV or Monitor over 19"||$7 each|
|Console TV or Projection TV over 40"||$10 each|
There are also several other local businesses that recycle electronics for a fee. Additional information about local and national electronic recycling opportunities can be found at the Earth 911 website.
What can I do to ensure that my private data is not recoverable from old computers?
When donating or recycling a computer, it is important to take a few steps to protect your private information. The hard disk should be reformatted, overwritten or physically destroyed before getting rid of a computer you no longer need. For more information, download this instruction sheet (PDF).
Is my old (analog) TV obsolete now that digital broadcasts have begun?
No. Older televisions are still usable after the 2009 switch to digital broadcast signal IF they have been fitted with a converter box OR you subscribe to cable or satellite service. Those televisions do not need to become waste. For more information about the broadcast changes, visit www.dtv.gov.
What if I have old business electronics?
Businesses have several options in the Duluth area for proper management of their electronic equipment. There are several local businesses that will manage electronic business waste.
For Minnesota state rules regarding electronic business waste, see this MPCA E-waste Fact Sheet.
Following is a listing of local area e-waste collectors or recyclers registered and in compliance with either the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Contact them directly for program details:
WLSSD Materials Recovery Center
4587 Ridgeview Road
Duluth, MN 55803
Waste Management Recycle America,
1425 Oakes Avenue
Superior, WI 54880