DEEP: DEEP Says Recycling Obsolete Electronic Waste and Unused Paint Best Way to Celebrate Connecticut Recycles Day November 15

November 13, 2013

DEEP Says Recycling Obsolete Electronic Waste and Unused Paint Best Way to Celebrate Connecticut Recycles Day November 15
 
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) says the best way to celebrate Connecticut Recycles Day – part of the national America Recycles Day – on November 15 is to take advantage of free programs that allow you to conveniently recycle obsolete or unusable electronic devices and unwanted paint.
 
“Connecticut Recycles Day is the perfect time for everyone to recommit themselves to the practice of recycling and to recognize that we can now recycle and reuse much more than bottles, cans, plastics, cardboard, and newspaper,” said Commissioner Daniel C. Esty of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  “In Connecticut, for instance, we’ve made it easy to clear your basement, garage, and closets of old computers, printers, televisions and monitors – as well as cans of leftover paint you will never use – by taking them to locations where they can be properly recycled.”
 
Electronic Waste Recycling Opportunities in Connecticut
 
Under the Electronics Recycling Law Connecticut residents can bring old computer equipment and televisions to more than 150 approved locations across the state, which are often located at municipal waste transfer stations.  At these locations, the equipment is stored safely until it can be transported to facilities where valuable materials such as plastics, aluminum, gold, copper, palladium, and other rare metals are removed and processed for reuse or recycling and the remaining components are disposed of properly.  Connecticut's state-wide electronics recycling program has collected more than 30 million pounds of equipment since 2011, according to reports provided by the state’s approved electronic recyclers.
 
DEEP has prepared a short video that can be shown on local cable access and other media outlets to inform consumers of Connecticut options for recycling used electronic items.  The video is available here.  DEEP encourages all municipal recycling coordinators and others to share this link locally and air the video for the upcoming Connecticut Recycles Day.
 
“Recycling of unwanted computer equipment and television sets is a major gain for our environment and our economy,” Commissioner Esty said. “It takes tons of material out of our waste stream, reducing the cost of waste disposal more than $500,000 each year.  The program ensures that toxic materials in e-wastes are managed properly – which eliminates risks to the environment – while making new use of materials that have real value in the marketplace and helping us reach our recycling goals.”
 
Used Paint Recycling Opportunities in Connecticut
 
On July 1, DEEP and PaintCare, a product stewardship organization of the paint industry, launched a program authorized by Public Act 11-24, An Act Establishing a Paint Stewardship Program, to allow for the responsible recycling of unused and leftover paint.  Under this program there are already more than 100 convenient locations across the state – most of them retail paint stores and municipal waste transfer stations – where residents can drop off unwanted paint.  The paint is then shipped to recycling facilities where it is used to make new paint products. 
 
Leftover and unusable paint wastes natural resources, causes pollution when disposed of improperly and costs municipalities and their taxpayers thousands of dollars a year in fees for trash disposal.
 
DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said, “We estimate that a staggering five million containers with more than one million gallons of paint are stored in homes across Connecticut.  This recycling program means that this leftover paint will be turned into useful new products instead of eventually going into the trash.  This helps lower the cost and reduce the environmental impact of disposal.”
 
State’s Focus on Materials Management
 
“Governor Malloy has made it a priority to transform the costly system of waste disposal with a new focus on materials management,” Commissioner Esty said.  “With this new approach, we will reduce the volume of trash that must be disposed of and recapture more materials with value that can be reused.  We will accomplish this by building on the success of programs like e-waste and paint recycling.”
 
Connecticut disposes of 2.4 million tons of trash annually, an estimated 1,350 pounds of trash per person per year.  In 2011 the state recycled and composted about 26% of generated waste. 

Additional Information
 
For more information on the state’s overall recycling program, go to www.ct.gov/recycle.  For more information on Connecticut Recycles Day and America Recycles Day, visit Connecticut Recycles Day and America Recycles Day.