Holiday season brings reminder of new e-recycling law

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Dec 28, 2013 3:12 AM

(Harrisburg) -- TVs, laptops, tablets and e-readers are popular gifts this holiday season, but there's requirements for anyone who wants to get rid of their old stuff.

Under the latest provisions in Pennsylvania's Covered Device Recycling Act, which took effect earlier this year, many electronics must be recycled, if they aren't donated or handed down.

Collection sites range from Goodwill locations to some Best Buy stores. 


"We've put the onus on the manufacturers to be responsible for recycling. And so the manufacturers, based on how much they sell every year, they have a requirement to take back a certain amount of tonnage in terms of these old electronics," says John Poister, spokesperson with the state Department of Environmental Protection.

"For years these were just thrown into landfills. And the problem is that these dangerous metals can leech into the groundwater, they can get through the landfill. And in some cases, these items were just dumped along the roadside. And that's, in many cases, even worse."

The D-E-P says recycling of TVs, laptops and more is important to keep harmful chemicals out of the environment.

It says basically, if the item has a circuit board, it has to be recycled.

In the past, these items were allowed in the trash.

Poister says now, items with a circuit board generally need to be recycled - like TVs, laptops, tablets, and e-readers.

Click here for a list of stores and other locations were electronics are accepted for recycling.

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Comments: 1

  • Jim Foster img 2013-12-28 12:06

    Just thought I would mention that a local organization, Computer Ministry, is an excellent option for recycling computers and peripherals. Computer Ministry is a 501c3 non-profit and a Microsoft authorized refurbisher. Our website is

    We take most types of computers, peripherals and related electronics. When we get them, we evaluate them to see if we can refurbish them. If so, we then give them to churches, charities, etc. locally and all over the world. If we cannot refurbish them, we recycle them in compliance with all applicable laws. I've volunteered with Computer Ministry for several years. I enjoy working with them because it does two very important things - keeps electronics out of landfills and gets them into the hands of the less fortunate.

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