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Waste electronic recycling in the US

Charlotte Wootton and Emma Trevor
Nov 10, 2020


Recycling of e-waste has been a growing concern in the US over the past few years. Many states have adopted recycling and take back programs, along with increased public education schemes, to try and improve the levels of recycling of waste electronics.

Charlotte Wootton and Emma Trevor, Valpak’s International Account Managers, look at the rules and programs in place in Delaware, Georgia and Montana, just a few of the states that have adopted measures in order to improve the recycling of waste electronics in the US.


Although there is no legislation in place enforcing the recycling of waste electronics, Delaware is one of the US states trying to encourage people to recycle their e-waste through voluntary programs and education. The Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) offers a free e-waste recycling program to residents, non-profit organisations, schools and public agencies with the aim of reducing the volume of hazardous materials in the waste stream. This program is unavailable to businesses, however DSWA does offer an electronic waste pick-up service for commercial users for a flat fee of one hundred dollars.


The recycling of electronic waste in Georgia is also promoted, especially among businesses. For smaller businesses that are producing less than 100kg of electronics per month and are not covered by the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste regulations, Georgia has introduced the Georgia Environmental Compliance Assistance Program (GECAP). GECAP helps businesses understand their recycling options for their electronic waste, and also looks into the possibility of reuse and donation. Programs such as this are being put in place in order to advise and encourage, not only businesses, but also the public to recycle their electronic waste and provide them with the educational resources on the disposal and re-use possibilities for electronic items once they reach the end of their life.


Montana does not currently have any legislation in place to prevent electronic waste from ending its life in landfill, however, steps have been taken to begin to change this and to encourage recycling. In 2006, Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) began to organise collection events, after which several communities implemented permanent collection programs. Unfortunately, there are still no processors of electronic waste here, but there are systems in place to collect, categorise and prepare e-waste for transportation to processing sites elsewhere. One such system is 406 Recycling which provides e-waste collection and recycling services to both business and household entities, collecting items which cannot be transported to the Good Samaritan collection points directly from the consumers’ home.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this weblog represent those of the individual authors and not those of Valpak Limited or any other organisation.