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Volume II, Number 5

September, 2006

 Dispose of that Old Computer Correctly – eCycle It!

 By Kara Schwenke, Waste Management

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Ever wonder how to get rid of that old computer? On July 31, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) launched a television and radio campaign to educate Marylanders on recycling, or eCycling, used electronic equipment. The first phase consists a 30-second television commercial airing on stations Statewide that promotes eCycling and prompts the public to visit MDE’s website for locations at On August 10 the second phase began with the airing of a 30-second radio spot in central Maryland on the CBS radio network. The campaign is slated to run until the end of September.

In addition to promoting eCycling, the campaign will raise the public’s awareness regarding possible health and environmental dangers attributable to the improper disposal of obsolete electronics, especially computers. The website contains information about special collection events and permanent eCycling sites.

Back to School is Busy eCycling Time!
The eCycling campaign is designed to coincide with the beginning of the school year, a time when new computer purchasing spikes. “Many parents will likely purchase new electronic and computer equipment for their children returning to school,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick.  “Now is the perfect time to inform the public about the benefits of eCycling, and provide resources on how they can recycle their old electronic equipment.”

Electronics are quickly becoming one of the fastest growing components of America’s waste stream – Marylanders alone dispose of more than 64,000 tons of electronic equipment each year. “Electronics contain heavy metals like lead, mercury and arsenic that may be hazardous to our health and the environment if not properly disposed,” said Horacio Tablada, director of MDE’s Waste Management Administration. “Promoting eCycling not only prevents these toxins from entering the waste stream, but also saves a considerable amount of landfill space.”

Fees from Statewide Computer Recycling Pilot Program
The campaign is the first major project made possible through computer manufacturer registration fees required under the Statewide Computer Recycling Pilot Program. Passed during the 2005 legislative session, the law became effective on July 1, 2005. “The law requires certain computer manufacturers to register with MDE and pay a $5,000 registration fee if they intend to sell computers in Maryland on or after January 1, 2006,” explained Hilary Miller, program manager for MDE’s Recycling and Operations Program. Computer manufacturers are eligible for a reduced registration fee in subsequent years if they implement a computer take back program for their products, free to returners in Maryland.

Click here for more information on eCycling, including special collection events and a list of permanent drop-off sites or call 410-537-3314.


:: This Issue's Featured Articles :: Enforcement and Compliance Notes :: For the Record



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Editorial Board
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230