Electronic recyclers continue to grow under state program
MADISON - Wisconsin residents now have access to nearly 450 permanent electronics collection sites, and continue to recycle their old TVs, computers and other consumer electronics at an impressive rate, according to new data compiled by the Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR has released its annual report on Wisconsin's electronics recycling law, which in 2010 banned many devices from landfills and incinerators and created the electronics manufacturer-funded E-Cycle Wisconsin program to help households and schools properly recycle old electronics.
According to the report, during E-Cycle Wisconsin's fourth program year, there were nearly 450 permanent collection sites, along with approximately 250 special collection events in 67 of Wisconsin's 72 counties, covering 99 percent of the state's population. Wisconsin now has the highest number of collection sites per 100,000 people among states with electronics recycling laws.
The collection sites registered with E-Cycle Wisconsin offer free or low-cost recycling options for used electronics from households and K-12 schools.
"This is really exciting news," said Ann Coakley, DNR waste and materials management program director. "Wisconsin's electronics recycling law was designed to make collection sites more accessible to the public. E-Cycle Wisconsin is making this happen."
Together, the collection sites that have registered with the program over the past four years have sent 123 million pounds of electronics to recyclers, 95 percent of which operate in the upper Midwest. The recyclers safely dismantle the electronics and recycle the plastic, metal and glass so they can be used in new products.
"It's amazing to think that in four years, we have kept more than 100 million pounds of electronics from going into landfills and incinerators," Coakley said. "That's a lot of material now being put to good use, not to mention supporting job growth."
A recent DNR survey found that, despite the number of electronics collection points and Wisconsin's high rate of recycling, many people still don't know where to take their electronics for recycling.
"As people get new electronics this holiday season, we want to make sure they know where to take the old ones for proper recycling," Coakley said. "E-Cycle Wisconsin can help most state residents find a collection site near them."
For a list of registered electronics collection sites in Walworth County, see the DNR website.