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Electronic Recycling: Responsible Ways to Help the Environment

Ideas on where to recycle old electronics

E-Cycling.  No, it’s not a version of extreme bicycling.  It's when a person disposes of electronics in a responsible, . With so many different gadgets on the market its only a matter of time before they breakdown. Or are replaced by a newer, faster, sleeker model.

In New Jersey, it's actually illegal to discard computers, monitors, televisions and laptops in the general trash. Since Jan. 1, all businesses and households throughout New Jersey must arrange for these items to be recycled, according to state law.

What's this stuff made of, anyway? And how do you recycle it?

In all electronic devices are a certain number of metal and plastic components. Some of these internal parts can be harmful if untreated against weather or moisture. Once an old computer or cell phone is exposed to these conditions in a landfill, process much like degradation occurs. Metal items will rust and leak harmful chemicals into the environment.

Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, commented on how New Jersey residents can responsibly recycle electronics. "We have a website which has information sorted by county, were you can drop off electronics," said Hajna.

The official website of the NJDEP for E-Waste is listed under the Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Program. By clicking http://www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/ewaste/index.html you can learn about drop-off sites, what can be recycled and other E-Cycle resources.

Recycling NJ, a website dedicated to proper recycling has a link to where to drop off certain types of electronics. By clicking http://recyclingnj.com/recycle/electronics.html you can read about electronics recycling and what you can do to help the environment. This website even has a few recommendations for selling old electronics that are not ready to be recycled just yet.

In , residents can check out the Ocean County Department of Solid Waste's website and search for the best way to recycle your old electronics. By clicking http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/SolidWaste/MainPage.aspx go to the "Recycling & Waste" tab near the top of the website and then scroll to the item you are trying to recycle.

For example, computers and televisions are accepted for recycling at the County’s Northern and Southern Recycling Centers.

Residents may bring computers, televisions and associated components Monday through Saturday at either Center from 7:30 am to 3:00 p.m. at no cost.

"A lot of local places like Best Buy and HHGregg and different electronic stores will take E-Waste. A lot of public works departments and county recycling centers take E-Waste." said Hajna, in reference to E-waste.

Another key website to check out for more information about E-Waste is the Campaign for Recycling website: (http://www.campaignforrecycling.org/states/new_jersey/ewaste) Here you will find a lot of information in regards to New Jersey and how you can learn more about the E-Waste dilemma.

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