Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (October 15, 2001) --The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, other state environmental agencies in the mid-Atlantic region and the electronics industry, announced last week the kick-off of an electronics recycling program called eCycling.

As consumers purchase more electronics to keep pace with the advancements in technology, many are left wondering what to do with their outdated computers and televisions. In an effort to provide a long-term solution to this question, Maryland and its sister agencies in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia are launching the region’s first-of-a-kind partnership which will allow residents and small businesses the opportunity to reuse or recycle old computer equipment and televisions.

Nationally, more than 20 million personal computers became obsolete in 1998. That number is expected to grow to an estimated 315 million by 2004. Additionally, obsolete electronics contain elements such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. If not handled properly, these toxic substances can be released into the environment.

"The new eCycling program is a year-long project to evaluate different models of electronics collection and recycling systems," said MDE Secretary Jane T. Nishida. "The data generated from the project will guide the development of a cost effective, sustainable collection system that will remove end-of-life computer equipment and televisions from the municipal waste stream. Local governments will benefit from the environmental impact of this collection by reducing the amount of toxics entering the waste stream, saving landfill space, and conserving natural resources."

The eCycling program aims to offer a long-term solution to end-of-life electronics management to all Marylanders by collecting televisions and computers at solid waste management facilities and retail outlets. Electronic equipment that can be recycled include: televisions, computers, monitors, printers, keyboards, and scanners.

Over the next few months, local governments will offer collection opportunities for residents to drop off their computer equipment and televisions at specific locations. Harford County will hold the first collection event at the Harford Waste Disposal and Recycling Center on Saturday, October 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This collection event is open to all Harford County residents. For more information about Harford County’s eCycling event, call (410) 638-3417. MDE’s Regina Rochez or Hallie Clemm can be reached by dialing (800) 633-6101, extension 3314 to find out when an eCycling collection location will be scheduled near you.