N.J. will begin electronics recycling

    The Garden State just got a little greener. Starting Jan.1, it will be one of 24 states that participate in an electronic recycling program.

    Already, New Jersey residents recycle about 12 million pounds of outdated electronics, but the state hopes to bump that number up to 50 million once the law kicks in.

    The law’s primary Assembly sponsor Reed Gusciora said the e-waste mandate will cut down on landfill waste and won’t cost taxpayers a dime.

    “We put the burden on the manufacturers because if we put it on the retailers or the consumers there would be no incentive to have recycle-friendly products,” he said. “So, ultimately, the manufacturers are going to paying for the recycling and that’s gong to be good for taxpayers.”

    Electronic manufacturers must pay for recycling costs and provide consumers with a place to dispose of unwanted items, this is if they want to sell the items in New Jersey.

    Gusciora said large bulky electronics do more than just take up room. They are also filled with toxins.

    “They tend to have a lot of elements such as cadmium, lead and other dangerous materials that ordinarily would go into the waste stream,” he said.

    The state’s Department of Environmental Protection said there won’t be a fine for leaving electronics at the curb, but they won’t be removed.

    Pennsylvania is right behind New Jersey with e-waste. Gov. Ed Rendell signed a similar bill about a month ago. Pennsylvania should be e-cycling in about two years.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.