Dumping old monitors, TVs will soon be free
Those computer monitors and old televisions gathering dust in the garage can soon be taken to Yuba-Sutter Disposal Inc. free of charge, thanks to the local area's share of $40 million in state recycling funds.
A state law that took effect Jan. 1 allows California retailers to add a surcharge of between $6 and $10 to the price of a television or computer, depending on the screen size, to aid in its recycling. That money, which totaled more than $15 million statewide during the first quarter of this year alone, will replace fees that residents pay to dispose of electronic equipment.
Recyclers must dismantle and dispose of those items, which contain cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, which carry lead.
Keith Martin, administrator of the Regional Waste Management Authority, said Yuba-Sutter residents could see the $10 fee that customers pay for disposing of each CRT item disappear within one to two months.
"It's still new and we're still working out the bugs; that's why we haven't been able to get rid of the surcharge yet," he said.
Martin said each piece of electronic waste, or "e-waste," costs the authority between $25 and $35 to recycle, and the difference between that and the current $10 fee is covered by a state grant used for e-waste disposal.
"We're looking forward to that turning around in the other direction," he said. "We've been fortunate because of those grant funds, but it expires in March."
Martin said if everything falls into place, the $10 disposal fee will be dropped.
Yuba-Sutter Disposal will be reimbursed by the state waste management board as a "collection agent." The local disposal company will then ship the items to a company elsewhere in the state that dismantles the items containing CRTs and recycles them.
"There are several steps in the process, but basically YSDI will be acting as an agent on our behalf," he said.
Martin said the authority and YSDI currently work with large entities such as schools, government agencies and companies to recycle their e-waste.
It is important not to dump a computer monitor or television into a trash cart or large metal garbage container, as it requires load checkers to remove it and handle it separately, which costs more money, Martin said.
"We want to make sure they're handled properly," he said. "If you don't want to pay the $10 now, please wait a few months, hang onto your stuff, then do the right thing."
YSDI will be the main dropoff site, but Martin said he and others are applying for a grant to allow the Yuba City Waste Management Plant to become a collection site for those aging electronics items.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Kymm Mann can be reached at 749-4708. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.