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Take advantage of electronics recycling opportunities

Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 12:00am

Texans turned in more than 43 million pounds of electronics to computer manufacturers for recycling. In addition to recycling covered computer equipment, many computer manufacturers also voluntarily collect televisions and other electronics for recycling. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality allowed computer manufacturers to report other electronics collected, not just the computer equipment covered under the program. Computer manufacturers reported collecting more than 43.8 million pounds of electronics from Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012.

Currently, 90 manufacturers representing 133 brands are participating in the computer recycling program. As part of the program, computer manufacturers collected more than 24 million pounds of covered computer equipment in 2012. Of that collected weight, more than 20 million pounds were recycled and 3.7 million pounds were reused. The 2012 number is higher than the amount reported for any other reporting year. The second highest year was 2010 when computer manufacturers collected for reuse or recycling a total of 19.5 million pounds of computer equipment.

Texans have many opportunities to recycle their computer equipment and other electronics outside of the computer recycling program. Collection events coordinated by municipalities, local nonprofit groups, private recyclers, and community-oriented businesses are additional ways Texans can recycle their computers. Since some of the recyclers don't report to the TCEQ, the agency's reported number doesn't fully represent recycling activity in Texas.

The TCEQ is currently working to implement a new program for the recycling of televisions, which will require television manufacturers that sell in Texas to collect and recycle television equipment.

The TCEQ encourages consumers to take advantage of electronics recycling opportunities in 2013. Texas consumers can learn how to recycle their computer equipment by visiting TexasRecyclesComputers.org, and their television equipment by visiting TexasRecyclesTVs.org.

For more information on the programs, contact the TCEQ's Pollution Prevention and Education Section, 512-239-3143.

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