One could say that Indiana is a victim of its own success regarding the state’s electronic law.
In 2009, the Indiana General Assembly enacted the Indiana e-waste program, and in 2011 it became illegal to discard electronics in the landfill.
The purpose of this law is to reduce electronic waste sent to Indiana landfills and to ensure that hazardous substances in these materials are managed in an environmentally responsible manner. Electronic manufacturers are obligated to work with certified recyclers to cover the recycling cost of 60 percent (by weight) of the product they sold in Indiana. These services were covered with “credits” paid for by the manufacturers. Well, the credits have run out.
So how does this affect us in Kosciusko County? The Depot benefited by the trickle-down effect. Since the credits are gone, our recycling costs have increased significantly. We are our own small unit of government and operate as a non-profit. Our fees have always been in place to cover our costs. To keep our operations sustainable, effective June 1, some recycling prices increased. Many items that we did charge for in the past, will now be accepted at no cost.
Residential prices will be: CRT monitor or TV up to 24 inches, $10/unit; CRT Monitor or TV over 24 inches, $20/unit; Projection or console TV, $30/unit; Bare tubes, $0.50/pound; Microwave, $5/unit and miscellaneous electronics (printers, dvd players, LCD TV’s and monitors, laptops, cell phones, etc.), free.
Small businesses, who utilize our services, will be charged $0.15 per pound for all electronic items. Nonprofits will be charged $0.07 per pound for all electronic items.
So what are these CRTs? CRTs, or Cathode Ray Tubes, are the beast of the old televisions. They have up to 4 pounds of lead in their glass, making them more hazardous than valuable. When recycled with a certified facility, all materials are captured for recycling. Flat screen TVs have replaced CRT tubes and the industry predicts that all CRT tubes will be recycled in 10 years; but at this time, they appear to be multiplying. In 2009, the Depot recycled 47.8 tons of electronics.  In 2014, 88 tons were recycled, an 84 percent increase in our collection volume.  Recently, the majority of this weight has been CRT monitors and TVs.
Each year, we get more volume and more people recycling. E-waste is a big concern for Indiana residents and it isn’t going away. Electronic items become obsolete quickly in this day and age and these items have quickly become the fastest growing waste stream.
Electronic items are collected at the south door (by the railroad tracks) during open hours at the Depot, 220 S. Union St., Warsaw. Check our website at www.kcrecycling.com or call us at 574-372-3087 for any questions regarding electronics recycling. If recycling with other facilities, make sure they are R2 certified (Utilizing Responsible Recycling Practices), an industry-operating standard for environmental protection, worker health and safety, data privacy and facility security.
Required by law or not, recapturing these hazardous and valuable materials makes good environmental and economic sense.