PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The law on disposal of electronic devices such as televisions and computers changes on Friday, the director of the Wood County Solid Waste Authority said.
The law will again allow electronics to be disposed of in landfills, meaning residential customers can leave them at their curb with other household trash, according to John Reed, director of the Solid Waste Authority in Wood County. All trash hauling companies will be required to take them at no additional charge to the customer once every month, he said.
Under the Bulky Goods Removal Requirement of the West Virginia Public Service Commission, trash hauling companies must remove bulky goods such as electronics, furniture and tires at least once a month for every customer at no additional charge.
In West Virginia, customers may leave anything out for the trash hauler to collect and dispose of as long as it is not considered a hazardous material, such as pesticides and insecticides, without an additional fee, Reed said.
“This a great service to the citizens of our state that is not available in most other areas, and residents should take advantage of it and help dispose of all unwanted items, making West Virginia one of the cleanest states anywhere,” Reed said.
“I think it comes down to proper public information, as most customers that call into the Solid Waste Authority with questions are not familiar that this service is available to them. Customers should call their trash hauler ahead of time when they have bulky goods to leave out as each trash hauler has individual times they provide this service each month,” Reed said.
Over the past few years, West Virginia experimented with mandating customers to recycle electronics rather than disposing them in the landfill, he said. This resulted in higher than expected costs to not only the consumer, but to the trash haulers, government agencies and non-profit organizations, Reed said.
Studies showed nearly no materials are in electronics that do harm to the landfill and the overwhelming costs and inconvenience were not offset by the mandate to recycle, Reed said.
“Our local Solid Waste Authority in Wood County spent $22,000 just last year to ship electronics from public collections to out of state facilities for recycling, and agencies such as the Salvation Army were overwhelmed with the amount of TVs dropped off after hours as a way for consumers to rid themselves of the burden and cost of recycling,” Reed said.
Legislation to repeal the mandate was drafted by Delegate John Kelly, R-Wood.
For more information, call Reed at 304-424-1873.