Wisconsin completing third year of electronics recycling program

The E-Cycle Wisconsin program, which oversees the state’s Extended Producer Responsibility program for electronics recycling, has completed its third year in operation.

Final numbers for the 2011-2012 program are not in yet, but over the first two years of operation, the program brought in approximately 45 million pounds of recyclable computers, monitors, televisions, tablets, mobile phones and other covered devices and accessories that otherwise might have gone to landfills throughout the state.

Once collected, the electronics are processed by state-registered recyclers. Previously, the state has listed 25 participating recyclers in the state program, including 17 which are R2-certified.

Each program year, manufacturers must recycle 80 percent of the weight of CEDs they sold to Wisconsin households and covered schools during the program year two years prior. The state also sets statewide recycling goals for electronics –in 2011, for example, the collection target was 29 million pounds. For 2012, the program target was 31 million pounds.

During the first 18 months of the program, says Sarah Murray of Wisconsin DNR, 45 million pounds were collected.

“We won’t have the totals from the current program year (July 2011 through June 2012) until this fall, but based on some preliminary reports and the manufacturer targets I expect the program will collect at least another 30 million pounds,” she says.

Jefferson County and its municipal partners Fort Atkinson, Ixonia and Watertown were recognized for collecting 1 million pounds of recyclables during the year.

The state also updated its “unregistered manufacturer” list. Being on this list means that these companies are prohibited from selling new equipment to private residents, public schools and schools in the Parental Choice program. Businesses, by law, must recycle unwanted electronics, but are not covered by the EPR law.


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