(Host) Get your old, dusty computers and other antiquated electronic equipment out of the attic or basement. A new E-recycling program for the state of Vermont has gone into effect.
Under a new consumer protection law, Vermonters are now able to recycle their so-called E-waste for free at locations in every county of the state.
Paul Burns is the executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, or VPIRG.
He says the new initiative will make it easier for people to be sure their old electronic items don’t end up where they could harm the environment.
(Burns) "Computers, keyboards, printers, televisions and the like, we want to make sure that these pieces of old equipment are recycled responsibly, and in a way that is easy and convenient for consumers."
(Host) Officials say old i-Pods, laptops and other electronics are the fastest growing part of the waste stream in Vermont.
And Burns says this new recycling effort will raise awareness of that problem by requiring that manufacturers take responsibility for collecting used products.
(Burns) "That will also encourage those manufacturers to use more easily recyclable materials and it might also encourage them to use less toxic materials. There’s a lot of heavy metals that are used in electronic equipment and it would be far better for consumers and for the environment if manufacturers used less of those toxic chemicals in the products."
(Host) VPIRG worked with Vermont cities and towns, solid waste programs and lawmakers to push the program through the Legislature.
It’s expected to lift the cost of disposing e-waste from consumers and taxpayers.