A flawed law is putting us all at risk.
Let’s face it. If you’re like most people, you’ve got an old, unwanted TV or two taking up space in your basement or garage. What seemed sporty and new just a while back, quickly became obsolete or undesirable. So there they sit.
Want them out of your home? Unfortunately, a Pennsylvania law called the Covered Device Recycling Act is having unintended consequences, leaving you with little or no options to legally dispose of those old TVs and computer monitors.
Disrespectful citizens are taking matters into their own hands.
Some Pennsylvanians aren’t waiting for the law to get fixed. Despite the fact it’s illegal and without regard to their neighbors, communities and environment, they’re dumping TVs and other electronic devices illegally on vacant lots, in wooded areas, and over riverbanks. Others are sneaking them into nearby dumpsters or abandoning them at recycling drop-offs — even when clearly posted that these materials are not accepted.
These illegal dumpsites are already a threat to our communities. They’re unsightly and drive down property values. They contaminate our soil and groundwater supplies. They are a public health hazard as they attract disease-spreading rodents and mosquitos. The illegal dumping of electronic devices, often referred to as e‑waste, adds more hazardous materials to these sites. This e‑waste often contains lead, cadmium and mercury that are hazardous waste and, if not contained, pose a threat to public health.
Illegal dumping is real and on the rise.
Illegal dumping is a growing, statewide concern. The improper and illegal disposal of hazardous e‑waste is compounding the problem and adding to the amount of garbage in these sites.
Illegal dumpsites can be found in every one of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. While Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful does not have definitive numbers on the scope of electronics dumping, there is more and more of this illegal activity being spotted and reported.
Illegal dumping is a crime that harms communities, businesses and all citizens. Cleanups, while necessary, cost about $600 per ton of disposal, and average around $3,000 per site. Factor in the costs of labor and resource-intensive investigation by your local authorities, and it becomes even more expensive. Don’t you think that money could be better spent elsewhere in your community?