American Recycler News, Inc.


Vermont businesses help achieve collection goals

Vermont’s E-Cycles Program broke its first year goal to collect 3.4 million lbs. of computers, laptops, monitors, printers, televisions and computer peripherals from Vermonters across the state. Vermont legislation set a first-year goal for the program to collect 5.5 lbs. of electronic waste per capita. The program kicked off on July 1, 2011 and in the first program year, that goal has already been met. New estimates suggest that the program may collect as much as 5 million lbs. this year alone, or over 7 lbs. per person.

The success of the program is largely attributed to the convenience of having over 90 permanent collection sites across the state for Vermont residents to choose from as well as many collection events. Vermont households, charities, school districts and small businesses have taken advantage of the manufacturer-funded free recycling of electronics. Amounts collected thus far also reflect the outstanding contributions of Vermont businesses.

Businesses of any size can be a part of the E-Cycles team by participating as a collection location in the E-cycles Program. Collection locations must collect all banned electronic devices from Vermont covered entities at no charge and must provide for proper storage. Collection locations that provide basic sorting of materials see not only the increased traffic but will be paid for the material they collect.

Vermont retail businesses have also played a role in the success of the E-Cycles Program. Nearly 50 retailers across the state who sell electronic devices post signs and advise their customers of the opportunities for free electronic recycling of the devices they are replacing. Even retailers operating outside of the Vermont program are coming on board to keep banned electronics from being disposed of in landfills.

The Vermont E-Cycles Program recognizes that businesses have also contributed to the electronic waste stream; making up part of the 3.4 million lbs. collected. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees can recycle their computers, monitors, printers, computer peripherals or televisions for free at any of the collection locations across the state. Small businesses are encouraged to contact collection locations prior to dropping off larger loads to schedule an appointment. The E-Cycles Program allows small businesses to remain competitive with the latest computers and electronics and still do the right thing for the environment when recycling those electronics without incurring the costs of disposal.

While E-Cycles does not provide for free recycling for larger businesses (more than 10 employees), collection locations may accept electronic waste from larger businesses for a fee. Vermont law prohibits the disposal of certain electronics in landfills. With proper disposal of electronic devices, residents help to keep toxic substances out of landfills and the environment.

Often, electronic devices that businesses recycle have higher reuse or resale value and low or no-cost options may exist for businesses looking to recycle computers and monitors.