Town launches new electronics recycling program

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., May. 5, 2011
Manchester residents can recycle consumer electronic devices free of charge at the transfer station. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Manchester residents can recycle consumer electronic devices free of charge at the transfer station. Photos by Martha Marteney.

The town of Manchester recently implemented a new consumer electronics recycling program, which goes beyond the state-mandated requirements. This means that any type of consumer electronic device – from televisions to computers to cell phones – can no longer be disposed of as mixed solid waste.

According to Brooks Parker, sanitation/environmental services manager, for the past few years, the town participated in the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority electronic recycling events, in an attempt to begin removing these devices from the mixed solid waste (MSW) stream.

Parker explained some of the problems of disposing electronic devices as mixed solid waste. The town’s MSW no longer goes to the landfill, but is transferred to the CRRA waste energy plant to be incinerated. Because electronic devices such as televisions and computers do not burn well, CRRA first sorts through the MSW to remove these items, which creates additional costs. If the items are not removed, the burn is not as hot, which means less efficient energy creation. Also, disassembly of the electronic devices allows for the removal of mercury and other potentially dangerous components, as well as for the collection of materials that can be reprocessed, such as glass and precious metals.

In 2007, a state statute was passed that required the recycling of four types of consumer electronic devices: televisions, computers, computer monitors and computer printers. The costs for recycling these electronics are paid by the manufacturer of the units. In February of this year, the state identified a listing of potential vendors for the electronics recycling program. The town of Manchester put its program out to bid, and signed a three-year agreement with RMG Enterprises, a wholesale scrap processor of electronics, based in Londonderry, N.H.

In addition to the recycling of the four required electronic devices, RMG will accept any type of electronic device. “Basically, anything that’s an electronic device, we can recycle through this program,” said Parker. There is no extra cost to the town for the enhanced service, as RMG expects to make a profit on the recycling of the non-mandated devices. Accepted items include, but are not limited to: audio/visual equipment, gaming systems, digital cameras, electronic typewriters, fax machines, networking equipment, projection equipment, small electronic devices, computer drives and storage devices, power supplies, etc. For a complete listing of the accepted devices, visit manchesterrecycles.org.

As of April 22, 2011, Manchester residents may dispose of the electronic devices during normal transfer station business hours, Monday through Saturday from 7:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The transfer station is located off Olcott Street at 1 Landfill Way. Residents must check in with town staff for instructions and to be directed to the appropriate electronics recycling POD container. Proof of residency is required, such as a current driver’s license or state-issued photo identification card. For residents recently moved to Manchester, a copy of the lease or purchase agreement may be accepted. Residents may recycle up to seven electronic devices at one time.

Parker reminded residents that only those items listed on the top of the blue recycling bins can be recycled through the curbside recycling program. Electronic devices should not be placed in the blue bins, but should be brought to the transfer station as described above. For more information about the town’s recycling program, visit the website manchesterrecycles.org.


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