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NC residents could start paying for recycling TVs, computers

Posted August 3, 2015

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— The toxic lead glass inside old televisions and computer monitors is difficult to destroy without harming the environment.

Only a few companies in the country are equipped to do it properly. And right now, electronic manufacturers foot the bill.

Most pass along the recycling costs to the consumer in the price tag of new electronics. But that could soon change.

The state Senate recently passed a bill that puts the cost of recycling electronics on local governments, rather than manufacturers.

Supporters, including Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford County, say it’s a move to make the state more "business friendly” and point out that manufacturers are drawn to areas where the cost of doing business is lower.

But local governments say consumers and homeowners will ultimately pay the price.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” Wake County resident Zac Walker said.

In Wake County, it costs about $400,000 a year to destroy the 4 million pounds of trashed TVs.

“At least 50 percent of what’s behind me are TVs,” Wake County Solid Waste Management Director John Roberson said, pointing to a vast collection of electronics brought in for recycling.

If the bill passes, Roberson said, the current trash bill of $20 a year for homeowners will likely increase.

“It’s our understanding that price will go up to 20 cents per pound,” he said. “At the end of the day, it will cost us more money.”

The Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday passed a resolution opposing the bill, which is currently being considered in the House.


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  • Steve Eubanks Aug 5, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Not all tube TVs are that much heavier. If you don't have that much disposable income, you probably are not dealing with a 32" tube TV anyway.

  • Arney Norris Aug 4, 2015
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    Nope!! They make excellent targets!! Then you rake up the mess and throw it in a trash bag and viola!!

  • Roy Hinkley Aug 4, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    I would like to point out that the government that is proposing charging citizens is a primarily Republican state senate.

  • Mannin Black Aug 4, 2015
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    Instead of charging everyone for the fee, how about only charge per item?

  • Jack Handy Aug 4, 2015
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    More "business friendly" means the public pays for everything while the companies enjoy the profits with less taxes. Suckers!

  • Dean Logan Aug 4, 2015
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    So, the EPA makes laws that make it almost impossible to recycle certain materials, so the government comes in and chargers people in order to make up for the extra cost created by government regulation.

    What a racket.

  • Roy Hinkley Aug 4, 2015
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    It would be helpful if the bill number were provided in the article.
    Also, I see the typical household garbage bill is $20 per year, and we're told it will increase to 20 cents per pound, but I have no idea if that's a lot or not. What is the current cost per pound? Or what is the projected total cost per year?

  • Ernest Borgnine Aug 4, 2015
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    We pay a tire disposal fee. Considering that we probably bought the monitor or tv, paying a small fee to dispose of 'em seems reasonable. $2 or something like. We should also make out of state folks pay more for the OBX ferries.

  • Skye Thompson Aug 4, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Older TV's weigh a lot more than 10 pounds and a lot of people with less disposable income are only recently replacing them.

  • Steve Eubanks Aug 3, 2015
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    Wake County has to dispose of 4 million pounds of TVs? At 10 pounds each, that's 400,000 TVs, or about $1.00 each. If the TVs weigh less on average, it's even cheaper.

    The population of Wake County is 927,000. Is every person is Wake County really getting rid of a TV every 24 or 36 months?

    These numbers just don't add up.