PennEnvironment, Rep. Mike Zabel join Local Townships as Thousands of Residents Recycle Electronic Devices
MARPLE, PA -- PennEnvironment and Representative Mike Zabel of Delaware County joined Newtown, Haverford, and Marple Townships for their Annual Electronic Recycling Event on Saturday.
Thousands of residents took advantage of the townships free recycling event. Yet, many in Pennsylvania don’t have access to electronic recycling programs. It’s one reason PennEnvironment is working with Rep. Zabel and others State House legislators on the “Zero Waste PA” legislative package to address our state’s growing waste and to tackle our “throw-away” society.
Saturday’s recycling drive-through event took place at Delaware County Community College and drew township residents, whose cars zig-zagged in long rows around the parking lots as they waited to unload their old cell phones, computers, televisions, microwaves, fax machines, air conditioners, small appliances, and more. Township officials estimate that more than 4,000 residents took part in the electronic waste, or e-waste, recycling event this year. Residents waited in lines for up to 2 hours to make sure they were diligently recycling their obsolete and unused electronic products.
“Residents across Delaware County and across Pennsylvania want the ability to easily recycle their outdated electronics because it’s good for the environment,” said Jessica Bellwoar, PennEnvironment’s Conservation Associate, “but we have vastly inadequate e-waste recycling programs and facilities in Pennsylvania and challenged by a failing e-waste program”.
In 2017, there were 58.1 million pounds of covered devices recycled in PA by 62 manufacturers according to the Pennsylvania DEP. Despite this seemingly large amount, we only recycle 12.5 percent of e-waste nationally.
"It’s clear that Delco residents want a better way to recycle their our old electronics, and I am committed to making that process easier and more accessible," said Rep. Mike Zabel. "This isn’t a partisan issue, just one of a common sense. Our electronics recycling law needs reform, and I am ready to lead the way.”
While e-waste represents only 2% of America’s trash in landfills, it represents 70% of the toxicity in the waste stream as electronics contain dangerous chemicals like mercury, cadmium, and lead. Research has shown that leached toxic materials in electronics can cause cancer, reproductive disorders, brain and kidney damage and many other health problems.
To better protect our environment from toxic run-off and properly dispose of our electronics, we need to dramatically update Pennsylvania’s e-waste programs to be more effective.
That’s why PennEnvironment is thankful to Rep. Mike Zabel for introducing legislation in the State House to modernize Pennsylvania's e-waste law and make it easier for all of us to recycle our old or unused electronics.
“When over two-thirds of Pennsylvania counties do not have access to free and convenient electronic recycling,” said Bellwoar, “we need to act and make it easier for all Pennsylvanians to be good stewards of the earth by recycling their electronic products.”
Rep. Zabel’s legislation is part of the “Zero Waste PA” package of 13 house bills aiming to reduce how disposable our society has become.
PennEnvironment is a statewide, citizen-based grassroots environmental advocacy group, dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives. For more information, visit www.PennEnvironment.org.