The Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan’s community branch, “the Black and Gold City Goes Green,” announced an event for the recycling of used electronics and medical equipment today. June 20th will see the collection of old televisions, computers and monitors, cell phones, crutches, wheelchairs and other appliances and equipment at the East Parking Lot of Heinz Field. The group eLoop will collect these items from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be a fee for the collection of electronics: $5 for computers and laptops, and $10 and up for TVs. eLoop President Ned Eldridge says there’s a reason for these fees. “[eLoop must] cover the expense of handling all the material, warehousing all the material, making sure we provide an environmentally healthy and safe environment for our workers, and we also pay a processing fee downstream for the leaded glass and things of that nature,” says Eldridge.
The event announcement comes weeks after a similar “e-cycling” initiative was found to have simply dumped the waste into foreign countries. Twin bills in the state House and Senate would outlaw this discouraging behavior, says Black and Gold City Goes Green coordinator Joylette Portlock. “[The legislation] would put the cost of recycling electronics in the hands of the manufacturers of the electronics, and make them responsible for a way to dispose of the electronics safely. The bills would require recycling, ban electronics from Pennsylvania landfills, and create local jobs in the process,” says Portlock. Similar bills have already been passed in 12 states in the Northeast and Midwest.