December 22, 2014

E-Cycle takes in nearly 100 million pounds

Wisconsinites have recycled nearly 500 tons of electronics in recent years.

E-Cycle, Wisconsin’s electronics recycling program, has collected nearly 100 million pounds of unwanted electronics in its first three years of existence. Sarah Murray is the state DNR E-Cycle Wisconsin coordinator. “It’s great that people are cleaning out their basements and closets and doing the right thing with old electronics.”

Wisconsin banned TVs, computers, and many consumer electronics from landfills and incinerators in 2010, yet some people still throw their junk in the trash. “We’ve surveyed landfill operators and they do still see material coming in, a lot of times they are able to sort of pull it out of a load and recycle it but we’d rather not see it going in there. Most unfortunately we sometimes do see materials, you know, dumped in the ditch or left out on the curb and then they might get smashed or something.”

Murray says some folks just don’t know about the relatively new law, or maybe they’re worried about a large recycling fee. Due to the possibility of harmful materials, consumers are encouraged to handle discarded electronics responsibly.

There are more than 400 electronics collection sites in the Badger State. Murray says many of those sites accept items free of charge, or for a small fee. So, it can’t get much easier, she jokes, “You know, you still have to lift that TV into the car.”

Nearly all of the metal, plastic and other materials in electronics can be separated and recycled into new products. A list of collection sites is available on the DNR website by searching keyword “E-Cycle.”

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:31