Used electronic products – televisions, computers, laptops, and similar devices – are the fastest growing waste stream due to their quantity, rapid obsolescence, and toxicity. More than 3.4 million tons of electronic waste was generated in 2011 and only 850,000 tons – or 29 percent – was recycled. Electronic waste contains toxic substances, including lead, mercury, cadmium, lithium, brominated flame retardants, and phosphorous coatings, which can be released upon disposal, threatening human health and the environment.
Many state and local governments find that they have neither the funding nor the infrastructure to properly manage waste electronics (e-waste) without the support of industry. To this end, twenty five states have passed extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws requiring manufacturers to establish collection and recycling programs for their products. While Nebraska does not yet have an EPR program for e-waste, a number of voluntary initiatives provide opportunities for Nebraskans to properly recycle or re-use their old electronic products.
The Product Stewardship Institute and the Nebraska Product Stewardship Coalition are working to educate the public and expand knowledge of the options that are available in Nebraska.
Find a take-back location near you:
Promote the success of electronics stewardship to legislators and government officials:
Electronics Take-Back Programs: Benefits and Best Practices
Example: Savings from Minnesota’s Electronics EPR Law
Have you run an electronics recycling event in the past 5 years? Take our survey to help NE PSC understand the challenges faced by your programs.
Are you interested in supporting electronics stewardship or recycling in your community? Contact us!