Going Green: Recycling electronics
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A new law in New York now makes manufacturers responsible for disposal and recycling of old electronic gadgets like computers, televisions, game consoles and so on.
Eco International in Vestal is one of a growing number of companies that make it happen.
"Typically, what we run is a de-manufacturing process taking these components apart retrieving the mercury tubes and we're still seeing some TVs with PCBs and the big issue is the old CRT monitors and the back part of that glass contains 20 percent lead," said Nathan Simons of Eco International.
So incinerating this electronic waste could cause air pollution while land filling the items could put our water at risk.
"We segregate our materials and try to create cleaner streams. We send them, with help from the original equipment manufacturers, we send them to processors that handle them in an environmentally friendly manner, which means they don't create air emission problems, and we're truly trying to take these materials and make raw material so they can be used to make new computers," Simons said.
Recycling companies like this are paid by the manufacturers and they can retrieve several elements from computers, for example, that can be re-sold, but television sets, not so much.
Simons said, "The commodities that we would recover from the TVs wouldn't be worth it to tear them apart. But if you take all of it as a whole, there is some good material, there is some not so good material but what we do is we take everything so the funds that we get from the manufacturers and what we get from selling the commodities on the downstream or the back end if you will make it whole."
Right now, New York's electronic recycling law applies to manufacturers and retailers but other businesses and residents will be included by 2015.