- Eco-Cycle's Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) in Boulder, CO is raising its e-waste disposal prices for the first time in 14 years, increasing prices on computer monitors and TVs by $5 to $8. Charges to recycle laptops, tablets, and computer towers are being eliminated.
- The changes are part of an "industry-wide adjustment" according to CHaRM director Dan Mhesch, who explains that the industry is making efforts to keep dangerous e-waste out of landfills. However, the cost to process e-waste is growing.
- While 1 million pounds of e-waste are recycled at CHaRM each year, not everyone is complying with e-waste recycling rules. Many Boulder-area residents have disposed of the waste in fields or in garbage bins.
Electronic waste is one of the fastest growing types of waste in the U.S., as the global e-waste market is projected to grow to $5.04 billion by 2020. Therefore recycling centers such as Eco-Cycle's CHaRM need to educate consumers on the importance of disposing TVs, computers, and other electronics properly.
While not everybody brings their e-waste to CHaRM, some Boulder-area residents are recycling electronics through buy back programs. Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot in Boulder County are some of the retailers that accept electronics for recycling, while some other manufacturers participate in voluntary mail-back programs.
In Europe, e-waste is being diverted from the landfill and into recovery programs, such as the Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery project that will obtain CRMs and precious metals from old e-waste.
As long as a global push is made to divert e-waste from the landfill, the market should be able to keep consumers safe from the hazards associated with the waste.