- Charleston, SC will discontinue curbside electronics collections on April 1 due to mounting costs, as reported by The Post and Courier.
- The cost of using a private contractor to recycle the material has more than doubled in the last five years. The Charleston City Council expects to save $150,000-$200,000 per year with the move.
- City crews currently collect 15,000-20,000 pounds of material per month.
South Carolina passed its original electronics recycling law in 2010, followed by a 2014 update to help counties with the costs involved by placing additional requirements on manufacturers. This law covers the standard list of computers, monitors, printers and televisions seen in many other states. According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control's latest annual report, 10,368 tons of electronics were recycled in the state's 2015 fiscal year and the majority of that came from residential sources.
Though according to this same report the program still faces difficulties.
"If measured by the amount of material recovered, electronics recycling has been successful in South Carolina. If measured by cost to local governments to offer programs, it has been a costly endeavor," it reads. Offering curbside collection of electronics is relatively uncommon and eliminating that may help with local costs, but that still won't change the fact that this program is financially challenged at a state level.
Faced with similar issues, North Carolina considered repealing its electronics recycling law last year and multiple states have been looking at ways to update their own requirements. Details vary, but in many cases programs have been weighed down literally and financially by old CRT units and lacked enough valuable newer devices. The question of how much responsibility manufacturers should bear, and how that should be enforced, is also still part of an ongoing national discussion.