E-Cycle Wisconsin Brings in 6.8 Pounds of E-Waste Per Resident in 2012, Provides Boost to State Economy
Wisconsin’s e-recycling rate is among highest in country
MILWAUKEE — Now in its third year, the E-Cycle Wisconsin program has taken in more than 39 million pounds of e-waste this past year, helping to grow the state economy and keep electronics out of landfills.
Manufacturers of certain consumer electronics have been required to collect and recycle electronics from Wisconsin schools and households since January 2010. Since September 2010, certain consumer electronics, including TVs, computers, printers and cell phones, cannot be put in the trash or sent to Wisconsin’s landfills or incinerators.
E-waste collectors and recyclers from across Wisconsin are seeing a significant influx of electronic equipment in 2012, which means more business and, ultimately, more jobs.
“Wisconsin’s e-waste recycling law is smart policy, both for our environment and our economy,” says Thad Nation, executive director of Wired Wisconsin. “Not only are we keeping hazardous substances like nickel and lead out of our ecosystems, we’re also generating economic growth through the recycling and redistribution process.”
Wisconsin’s consumers, businesses and schools are taking advantage of the E-Cycling program to recycle their electronics. During the third year of the program, Wisconsin’s registered collectors took in 39.1 million pounds of electronics waste, one of the highest rates among states with electronics recycling laws and an increase of more than 4 million pounds from the previous year.
E-Cycle Wisconsin collects old electronic equipment from consumers, schools and businesses via registered collectors throughout Wisconsin, who in turn sell the collected electronics to recyclers. These recyclers break the recycled equipment into its component parts, many of which are then crushed and smelted. The raw materials are then sold to manufacturers at a lower cost than they would pay for new materials, saving those companies money and improving their bottom line.
“The ongoing success of this program is creating additional opportunities for Wisconsin-based electronics recyclers to open new facilities, expand existing services and provide employment opportunities for Wisconsin residents,” says Nation. “For every ten pounds of e-waste collected statewide, nine pounds are initially processed here in Wisconsin and adjacent states.”
The number of registered collectors has increased 70 percent from the first year of the program to the third year of the program, and now includes locations in 69 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, offering free or low-cost recycling options to 99.5 percent of the state’s population, according to the study.
A typical older desktop computer and a CRT monitor weigh approximately 60 pounds combined. The two components contain roughly:
- 15 pounds of glass
- 14 pounds of plastic
- 12 pounds of iron
- 8 pounds of aluminum
- 4 pounds of copper
- 4 pounds of lead
- 1 pound of zinc
More information about the products covered under the e-waste law and a list of collection sites is available here.