By Kelly Aaron, President, EverLights
Would you pay a $7,000 fine for something that could have been prevented for a couple hundred dollars?
This question should be on every building engineer’s mind as new e-waste laws continue to pop up around the country.
On January 1, a law went into effect in Illinois that added 13 new electronics to the list of materials banned from landfills. The law also increased the fine for not recycling e-waste from $1,000 to $7,000 per incident. E-waste can include, but is not limited to, computers, monitors, cell phones, televisions and appliances.
As word of the new law spread, building engineers began searching for the answers to the increasingly important question, “how can I get rid of my e-waste?” These engineers want to know what needs to be recycled and are looking for the best way to get rid of it.
To comply with the law, many engineers will be tempted to work with a recycling company that will pay for e-waste or take it free of charge. While this may seem like a good idea, it almost guarantees that the e-waste will end up in the wrong place and will not be tracked properly. It also puts you at a higher risk of receiving one of those hefty fines. To avoid potential complications, it would be in the company’s best interest to stay away from that practice.
With some proper planning and organization, the seemingly difficult search for a trustworthy recycling company can be transformed into an easy process that will seem like it was there all along. Even though it will add an extra step to the daily work routine, it should not have to be a burden.
According to Matt McManus, Chief Engineer at 525 S. State St., organizing every aspect of your recycling operations is the best way to integrate e-waste into your current plans. It is important to know what is coming in and what is going out and a well thought out plan will make that possible.
“Creating a spreadsheet of the waste we collect keeps our operations running smoothly,” said McManus. “I found that it works best when we inventory, weigh, pack, tape and seal everything before the materials are picked up.”1 2 next >>
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