After opening new gizmos remember N.J. demands recycling old electronics

If you live in New Jersey and received a new TV, computer, or other electronic device as a holiday gift, you need to recycle the old one you no longer want.

State law mandates that used electronic devices be taken to designated recycling collection points, according to Guy Watson, chief of the Bureau of Recycling and Planning at the Department of Environmental Protection.

“I don’t know that anybody has ever actually been fined on this, but if you place the material out at the curb, for example, your garbage collector is not going to pick it up,” he said. “And no disposal facility is to accept any of this material.”

More than 50 million pounds a year of electronics waste has been diverted from landfills in the first two years of the recycling program, Watson said.

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Recycling, which prevents mercury and lead in some of the parts from harming the environment, allows the unwanted devices to be dismantled. Some reusable components are resold.

Municipal recycling facilities, many electronics retailers, and some community-based service programs accept the unwanted devices at no cost. Some manufacturers charge a transportation fee if you want them to collect the stuff from your home.

You can find a list of recycling collection sites here.

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