|Last year, the SWA collected 34 tons of e-waste.
(Credit: Wikipedia Commons)
If you’re one of thousands of consumers with old, useless electronic equipment lying around your home or office, you will have the chance to dispose of those devices properly next weekend during the Solid Waste Authority’s e-waste recycling event.
On April 9, the SWA will establish recycling centers at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez and Humacao, La Guancha sector in Ponce, and the Pérez Alberto Park in Fajardo. The “Electronic Equipment Recycling” event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will be done in collaboration with private companies E-Cycling and R-4 Enterprise, the UPR, and the municipalities.
The purpose is to educate citizens about the proper handling of electronic waste. Electronic waste contains hazardous components harmful to health and the environment, so it can not be placed in household waste containers,” said SWA Executive Director Elí Díaz Atienza.
The equipment that will be accepted at the collection centers are: computers and their components (monitor, CPU, battery, cables, keyboard, speaker, and mouse), DVDs and VCRs; fax machines; copiers; cell phones; gaming devices; radios; and sound equipment. Only two computers will be allowed per vehicle.
Last year, the SWA collected nearly 70,000 pounds, or 35 tons, of electronic waste. On the U.S. mainland, some 30 million computers are discarded each year, while an estimated 100 million phones are disposed of in Europe annually. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 15 percent to 20 percent of e-waste is recycled, with the rest of these electronics going directly into landfills and incinerators
Electrical waste contains hazardous but also valuable and scarce materials. Up to 60 elements can be found in complex electronics, industry reports show.
“The SWA appreciates these alliances that year after year allow us to offer this free event. These activities are aimed at educating for a ‘green’ Puerto Rico” he said, adding that the recycling event is the agency’s way to kick off Earth Month.
Puerto Rico residents who are unable to get to one of the recycling points next Saturday may contact one of the participating private companies, E-Cycling and/or R-4, which accept old equipment for recycling, year-round.