Editor’s Note: This is a weekly column by the Recycling Coordinator for the City of Framingham. Residents can submit questions to Recycling Coordinator Stephen Sarnosky via SOURCE at editor@FraminghamSource.com
By Stephen Saranosky
FRAMINGHAM – Electronics recycling, also known as “e-waste,” is an important and fast-growing sector of the recycling industry.
Why is e-cycling so important?
Many household items contain components such as lead and mercury that can be harmful if not handled properly says Recycling Works, Massachusetts.
Cathode ray tubes (CRTs), which are found in older style televisions and computer monitors, have been banned from disposal through the Massachusetts Waste Bans, since April 2000. CRT televisions and monitors are made with leaded glass which is considered hazardous.
According to Recycling Works, Massachusetts, “In 2008, Massachusetts passed the Mercury Management Act that prohibits the disposal of any product that contains mercury.”
Flat-screen monitors, televisions, and other devices that have a back-lit screen contain fluorescent lamps that contain mercury.
Universal waste items like fluorescent lamps and other mercury-containing items such as button batteries, must either be recycled as a “universal waste” or managed as hazardous waste.
The Sanitation Division provides a way for residents to dispose of their e-waste safely at the City’s Recycling Drop-Off Center (RDC)*.
Items such as fluorescent lamps, old cell phones, and anything with a cord can be recycled. An additional $15 fee applies to some electronics such as TVs, CRTs, and Freon containing items.
Residents can also utilize the curbside bulky item pick-up program. This program allows residents to have their items picked up curbside for a nominal fee.
When funding allows, the Sanitation Division will hold an annual e-waste disposal event at the Recycling Drop-Off Center. The event is usually held in June and residents can dispose of their waste for free with a food or clothing donation.
Please Note: The RDC is available to permitted residents of Framingham. Permits can be purchased for a yearly fee of $20.*
How Does Your E-Waste Get Recycled?
In Framingham, e-waste that contains mercury and lead is handled by an EPA and MassDEP certified electronics waste recycler. DPW pays to have this material disposed of and receives a certificate of disposal by the recycler. From there, the material is sent to a processor, is broken down, and its components are sold to end markets to begin a new life.
I was asked a question regarding “the availability of compost bins, and how can I get one?”
Compost bins are available at the Recycling Drop-Off Center, 255 Mt. Wayte Ave. The cost is $25 per unit. Thank you for your question and have fun composting.
PHOTO SUBMITTED TO SOURCE with column