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Cortland County Scrambling to Meet Changes in E-Waste Collection Program

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While New York State is touting the success of electronic recycling for keeping millions of pounds of electronics out of landfills. Communities like Cortland County are scrambling to cover the cost of the program.

This week, county lawmakers on the Legislature’s Solid Waste Committee were informed that changes in the reimbursement rates for the electronic recycling program will force changes in the what the county can accept at it’s Pendleton Street Recycling Center or it will face higher costs.

Over the past couple years, the Cortland County Recycling Center has been accepting any non-freon electronic device’s with a cord. In addition, to televisions and computers, you could drop off old hair dryers, blenders, vacuum cleaners fans; virtually anything.

Now, the county will have to pay more to get rid of larger tv’s and also faces a greater expense for other items. Those household appliances will no longer be recycled.

Lawmakers have debated whether the county should charge for the items.

Some Legislators say accepting the items free of charge keeps them from being dumped illegally. Many electronics contain lead, arsenic, and mercury– among other heavy metals. These compounds can be hazardous, which makes it even more important that those items do not end up in landfills. If they do, those chemicals can be absorbed by the Earth and enter ground water.

The Cortland Recycling Center accepts computers, monitors, printers, laptops, keyboards, radios, stereos, modems, televisions, VCRs, fax machines, microwaves, mobile (cell) phones, pagers, handheld games and GPS units.

The recycling center does NOT accept counter top appliances, answering machines, large appliances, vacuums, dehumidifiers or air conditioners.

So far no disposal fee has been approved. If you’re looking to drop off an old console model TV, you must remove it from the wood cabinet first.

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