West Virginia landfill ban on electronics now in effect

As of January 1, 2011, televisions, computers and monitors are banned from disposal in West Virginia landfills. The National Center for Electronics Recycling has been working with other interested stakeholders in the state to help inform the public about the upcoming ban and what it means for households, businesses and government.

The National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) encourages all West Virginia consumers to be prepared for the landfill ban on electronics by looking for local and national recycling options. There are several opportunities for consumers in every part of the state, but many of them have been under-utilized due to lack of awareness.

Organizations like the NCER, county Solid Waste Authorities, as well as state agencies such as the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB) are collaborating to develop resources and programs to offer alternatives to illegal landfill disposal. The SWMB has developed a website which provides resources concerning the landfill ban found at this address: www.state.wv.us/swmb/ewaste. The NCER also maintains a listing of local and national recycling programs on its website.

The landfill ban is a result of Senate Bill 398, which was passed into law during the 2010 legislative session. Senate Bill 398 prohibits the disposal of Covered Electronic Devices (CEDs) in any West Virginia Landfill. CEDs are defined as televisions, laptop and desktop computers, and video display devices with screen sizes larger than four inches when measured diagonally, such as computer monitors. As of January 1, 2011 no one will be permitted to dispose of these items with their household waste. Waste haulers are currently required to pick up televisions and computers under the Public Service Commission’s Bulky Goods Rule.

In addition to the newly passed landfill ban, West Virginia also has a law, passed in 2008, that requires manufacturers of CEDs to register with the Department of Environmental Protection annually and pay a fee. These fees are then placed into an Electronics Take-back Fund, which then goes toward awarding grants to counties and municipalities around the state that want to hold electronics recycling events. The fee paid by manufacturers can be reduced when they implement an electronics take-back program, which has had a negative effect on the size of the Take-back Fund, as more and more manufacturers are electing to offer free recycling of their own branded items. Take-back programs must offer free recycling of a manufacturer’s devices through mail-back, a collection event, or drop-off programs.