Local News

Recycling Monitors Can Be Costly To Both You, Environment

Posted July 16, 2002 10:32 a.m. EDT

— Chances are every time you buy a computer or TV, you do not really give much thought to where they will end up 10 years down the road, but state senators have been thinking about it, and it could cost you.

Buying a 27-inch Toshiba or brand new Hewlett Packard computer could soon cost you more. That is because both are pricey and difficult items to get rid of.

"They can hold up to anywhere from four to 10 pounds of lead. We don't want huge amounts of lead at the landfill where it could get into the groundwater," said Scott Mouw of the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

State Senate Bill 1255 proposes that a $10 fee be tacked on to the price of each computer and television set sold. The revenue collected would fund a recycling program.

Getting rid of one old TV could be as much as $25, which is why starting up a recycling program can be fairly expensive.

"It helps pay for the processing of recycling, transportation, collection, labor, advertising. Hopefully, we will be able to use the money for all those things," said Kelley Dennings of Wake County Waste Management.

The bill is under review in the Senate Finance committee.

According to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, there are as many as 1.5 million TV sets and computer monitors stored in households across the state. Officials said that number will likely skyrocket as technology improves.

Cary, Raleigh and Wake County all have computer recycling programs, but those programs do not reduce the number of TV sets that end up in the dump.