Good reminder to go green and recycle your cell phones – Wisconsin E-recycling law sees great success in first year

Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves that thefancy technology we are surrounded by doesn’t just dissipate at the end of its lifecycle.  It has to go *somewhere* and it is greatly preferable that the somewhere be a recycling center than a landfill.   So with Earth Day coming up this weekend, the continued success of Wisconsin’s e-cycling law is a welcome bit of news.  If your state doesn’t offer convenient e-cycling, a quick Google search will turn up a number of organizations that can help you setup a good cell phone recycling program.

MILWAUKEE — A new report, compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, shows significant progress in electronics waste recycling is being made across the state thanks to the new e-waste law that took effect last year.

According to the E-Cycle Wisconsin 2010 report, more than 24 million pounds of total electronics were recycled in 2010 – 10.3 million in the first half of the year and 13.8 million in the second half.

Those electronics were collected by nearly 150 organizations that registered with the state to collect televisions, computers, fax machines, VCRs, cell phones, and other consumer products. As of spring 2011, 350 collection sites had been established in 65 counties across the state, covering 98 percent of the state’s population.

“As we stand on the verge of Earth Day, this new reports showing the growth in electronics recycling as a result of the law is great news, not just for our environment, but our economy as well,” said Thad Nation, Executive Director of Wired Wisconsin. “This increase will result in fewer toxic substances being released into our ecosystem, and will ultimately help electronics collectors and recyclers expand their services and create new jobs across the state.”

The E-Cycle Wisconsin law took effect on January 1, 2010, while a ban on putting certain electronics – including larger products like computers, printers, and DVD players – in the trash or dumping them in landfills took effect on September 1.

“What’s even more exciting is to see the potential for even greater results this year,” Nation continued. “The results show a clear uptick in the second half of the year after the enhanced electronics ban went into place. We only expect to see these numbers go up as consumers learn more about how and where to recycle their electronics.”

A survey conducted by the DNR late last year showed that the percentage of households recycling computers and TVs approximately doubled from 2006, when the last recycling survey was distributed.