E-Waste Survey Results Shared
The Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (RMC), in partnership with the Center for Survey Research at Penn State Harrisburg, recently completed a state-wide survey of Pennsylvanians to understand how much e-waste is likely destined for recycling programs.
The survey was part of the Spring 2016 Penn State Poll. Results are summarized as follows:
- Less than half (44.4 percent) of Pennsylvanians know where to recycle electronics.
- 65 percent of Pennsylvanians are willing to travel 10 miles or less to recycle electronics.
- 50 percent of Pennsylvanians reported they do not want to pay anything to recycle their electronics.
With few “no charge” collection sites across the state that accept all electronics specified in Pennsylvania’s recycling law, a local distance a recycler is willing to travel, and half of Pennsylvanians not willing to accept an electronics recycling charge, electronics recycling is challenging at best.
Using the state-wide survey data, the RMC estimates and summarizes as follows:
- Residentially, there are approximately 6.8 million tube televisions and tube computer monitors (CRTs) combined remaining in Pennsylvania, with an average weight of 58 pounds, down from an estimated 8.2 million units.
- Residentially, the combined, estimated weight of tube televisions and CRT tube computer monitors in Pennsylvania is 396 million pounds.
- The total Pennsylvania residential count of in use and out of use electronics equipment, including tube TVs, tube and flat computer monitors, flat screen TVs, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, pads, e-readers, printers, keyboards, mice/trackpads and routers is approximately 694 million Pennsylvania
- The total Pennsylvania residential weight of in use and out of use electronics equipment is approximately 1 billion pounds of Pennsylvania electronic devices.
It is important to know this survey does not define consumer intent – this does not account for when a Pennsylvania resident may choose to recycle their electronic devices.
According to Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center 2016 findings, only 32 collection sites state-wide accept all covered electronic devices at no charge to the consumer as specified in the Act.
RMC offers a few ideas for a solution that provides relief in this economy:
- A consolidated, specific law, that is not deeply layered, that does not lead to interpretation.
- Fair, competitive, and balanced criteria for establishing and sustaining collection, transportation, and recovery of electronics.
- Expanded options for management of tube TV and computer monitor lead-containing glass.
- Offer sound, organized, infrastructure such that a disposal ban of electronics waste is not a ban without a plan.
*For more information go to http://americanrecycler.com