Gather up your "e-waste" for Electronics Amnesty Days

·3 min read

Jun. 7—SOUTHEASTERN INDIANA — In keeping with our monthly amnesty days opportunities, the Southeastern Indiana Recycling District (SEIRD) is now preparing to accept electronic waste at no cost to the consumer at all of our sites during certain days in June. Those dates are as follows:

June 11-12: Jennings County and Scott County

June 16 and 19: Switzerland County

June 18-19: Ohio County

June 25-26: Jefferson County

Up to two (2) electronic items with a screen will be accepted per residence during each facility's normal operating hours on the listed dates. Please visit our website at www.seird.org for facility addresses and hours. You can also follow SEIRD on Facebook for event reminders.

Normally, recycling an electronic device with a screen carries a $15 dollar fee at SEIRD facilities, which is implemented to help offset the cost SEIRD endures to push those devices along the recycling stream. Electronic devices without a screen can be delivered to SEIRD facilities at no cost at any time during regular business hours.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans generated approximately 11.7 million tons of e-waste in 2014. It is estimated that about one-third of that waste was properly recycled. In total, electronics only make up about two percent of the solid waste stream, but accounts for 70 percent of the hazardous waste which is deposited in landfills.

"E-waste" is a term used to describe electronic devices that have reached their effective end-of-life and are set to be discarded by a consumer. According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), electronic devices of all types contain various amounts of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and chromium that can be harmful if released into the environment. Such release could include seepage into soil and water when items are not handled properly.

Electronic devices also contain various amounts of precious metals, such as copper, gold, tin, silicon, and aluminum, which can all be reclaimed when recycled. The reuse of these metals can equate to millions of dollars worth of raw material savings. Other recyclable components of electronic devices also include steel, glass, and plastic.

IDEM states on their website that the following items are prohibited from being discarded from Indiana households, public (including charter) schools, and small businesses: Televisions, computers (including desktops, laptops, tablets, and monitors), peripherals (including keyboards, mice, hard drives, printers, scanners, copiers, and projectors), fax machines, DVD players (including gaming systems), digital photo frames, media players (such as iPods and MP3 players), camcorders/cameras, DVR/TiVo devices (including cable boxes), and portable GPS navigation systems. The right way to dispose of these items is through a proper recycling channel, including but not limited to the services SEIRD offers.

Through choosing to recycle electronics, the EPA states, "Increasing sustainable electronics management efforts can create green jobs, lead to more productive reuse of valuable materials, increase the value of American exports, and support a vibrant American recycling and refurbishing industry."

Businesses in our home state of Indiana are involved in that industry. ERI, the country's largest fully integrated IT and Electronics Asset Disposition Provider, operates one of its eight nationwide facilities in Plainfield, Indiana. The company is certified to de-manufacture, recycle, and refurbish every type of electronic device in an environmentally responsible manner. The company serves every zip code in the U.S. and has the capacity to process more than one billion pounds of e-waste annually.

Take advantage of SEIRD's electronics amnesty days to make the right choice when it comes to e-waste, all while contributing to the sustainability and economic success of our home state and country.

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