With technology and electronic devices rapidly evolving, electronic waste is a growing segment of the solid waste stream. Starting in 2003, the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) began offering a free drop-off program for electronics recycling to residents and businesses in the two-County region. Since then, the Authority has recycled more than 8 million pounds of electronic waste.
Many electronics contain elements such as lead, mercury and cadmium that are considered safe when the items are used as directed, but can be hazardous if disposed of with household trash and compacted at landfills. If improperly handled, these toxins can be released into the environment, posing a threat to human health.
As of January 2015, the NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act prohibits electronic waste such as computers, televisions, and other small electronic equipment from being disposed of as garbage. Electronics cannot be placed in your curbside recycling bin.
Just this year, the Authority has already collected over 1 million pounds of electronic waste from residents and businesses in Oneida and Herkimer Counties. This waste was diverted from the Regional Landfill and sent to registered electronics dismantlers who separate the electronics into various raw materials such as plastic, glass, steel, copper, lead, gold and aluminum for recycling or reuse.
Residents and businesses may deliver unwanted electronic waste such as computers, computer components, televisions, and other electronic devices to the Authority’s EcoDrop Utica and EcoDrop Romeyear-round, at no charge for proper recycling. Businesses must schedule an appointment prior to delivery by calling (315) 733-1224.
“Electronics contain many valuable and recoverable materials. To conserve natural resources and energy needed to produce new electronic equipment from virgin resources, electronic equipment can be refurbished, reused and recycled instead of being landfilled,” stated Authority Superintendent of Waste Collection Bill Schrader. “We have the residents and businesses who utilize the electronics drop-off program to thank for the program’s success.”
Options for recycling unwanted electronics:
- Contact your municipality or waste hauler for electronic waste collection options as many provide curbside collection.
- Donate or sell unwanted, working electronics.
- Residents and businesses may deliver unwanted electronic waste to the Authority’s EcoDrop Utica (80 Leland Avenue Ext.) and EcoDrop Rome (575 Perimeter Road) year-round, at no charge for proper recycling. Businesses must schedule an appointment prior to delivery by calling (315) 733-1224.
- Consider trading mobile devices for cash through Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and websites such as Gazelle.com.
- Visit www.greenergadgets.org to enter your zip code and find the nearest electronics drop-off location.
For more information on electronics recycling and for a full list of electronic waste accepted by the Authority, please visit www.ohswa.org or call (315) 733-1224.
If you are not sure how to properly recycle or dispose of an item, the Authority encourages residents to visit its easy-to-use tool at www.AmIRecyclable.com to search hundreds of different items and learn the answers.