The State of Indiana passed legislation in 2011, Indiana Code 13-20.5, that prohibits households, public schools and small businesses from mixing unwanted computer monitors, computers, televisions, printers, computer peripherals (such as keyboards and mice), DVD players, video cassette recorders or fax machines with municipal waste that is intended for disposal at a landfill or by burning or incineration.
To insure electronics are diverted from landfills, the district partners with local municipalities to provide opportunities for residents to safely discard their electronics. For example, while the Portage and Valparaiso street departments collect electronics curbside from their residents, the district contracts with Electronic Recyclers International, Inc., to make sure those electronics are recycled.
Other waste haulers around the county will not collect electronics curbside from their customers; however, these residents have convenient drop-off locations available to them provided by the district, including: the Valparaiso compost site, 2150 W. Lincolnway, Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and the Boone Grove compost site, 546 S. 400 W, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Electronics drop off locations are also available for all Porter County residents at the following street departments: Portage Street Department: 2302 Hamstrom Road, 762-4564; Valparaiso Public Works: 406 Don Hovey Drive, 462-4612; Porter Street Department: 550 Beam Street, 926-2771. Residents should call the departments to determine hours and accessibility.
Anything that has an electrical cord or is powered by batteries is accepted at these sites.
Many components of electronics are considered hazardous, including computer monitors and television screens. Electronics contain heavy metals, including lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium that can be harmful if released into the environment. For more information on the hazards of electrics and the benefits of proper disposal and recycling, visit: www.escrapindiana.org/
“Recycling electronics ensures these materials are safely managed, and valuable materials such as steel, glass, and plastic, as well as precious metals such as copper, gold, tin, silicon, and aluminum are reclaimed for the manufacturing of new products,” Davis said. “Reusing and recycling raw materials from electronic waste conserves natural resources and avoids air and water pollution.”
For more information on electronics recycling in Porter County, call the district, 465-3694, or visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org . Best Buy locations also accept electronics for recycling. Visit www.bestbuy.com/recycling
To hear our Region Newsmakers interview with Therese Davis and Donna Stuckert, Public Education Coordinator for the district, visit regionnewsteam-dot-com