electronic wasteA recent law passed in the state of Colorado bans Coloradans statewide from disposing of their electronic equipment and gadgets in landfills. The law, called the Electronic Recycling Jobs Act (SB 133), was signed into law on April 20th and will take effect July 1, 2013. When people dump their old and unwanted electronics, like television sets and cell phones, into landfills, the groundwater and surrounding areas are put at risk for contamination from toxic chemicals, like lead and mercury. Interestingly enough, computer equipment often contains reusable precious metals.


Mesa County has already banned items like batteries, light bulbs, and computers in landfills since 2009. According to professionals, the average computer monitor contains about three to seven pounds of lead, much of which can be reused and all of which is extremely toxic and dangerous for the environment. Hundreds of collection sites have popped up all over the United States, and online companies that purchase computer parts for cash are growing in popularity. While selling your electronic scrap and old computers to collection agencies may seem easy to do, it’s not always as easy to find a reputable buyer who will not only offer you loads of cash but will dispose of the electronic scrap properly.


No matter who you decide to sell your computer and electronic scrap to, it is important to remember to make sure they are certified. Certification is important to keep in mind, since those with certification follow industry standards and aren’t illegally transporting materials to third world countries. In most cases, items exported to Third World countries are not disposed of according to safe and environmentally friendly practices. Also, by selling or donating your items to certified buyers, you can rest assured knowing that reusable items will be salvaged and sorted.


Items that are discarded improperly are not only devastating for the environment but can cost taxpayers. Taxpayers often times are left to pay for the disposal and clean-up of improperly disposed of electronic scrap, all of which can be avoided if the items are sold to a certified and reputable online company that purchases computer parts for cash.


In closing, here’s some food for thought: according to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average number of electronic gadgets per household in the United States in 1975 was 1.3. By 2011, households averaged 24 electronic gadgets, most of which will eventually end up in landfills and harming the environment if necessary precautions aren’t taken.