Amid concerns that continued dumping of computer equipment ultimately will pose environmental hazards

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

April 1, 2000

1 Min Read

Amid concerns that continued dumping of computer equipment ultimately will pose environmental hazards, Massachusetts on Saturday will become the first state to ban the disposal of computer monitors, televisions, and video games containing cathode ray tubes in public landfills or incinerators.

Massachusetts, which dumps an estimated 75,000 tons of electronics equipment each year, was able to pass the ban under its existing hazardous and solid waste regulations, enforced by the state's Department of Environmental Protection, according to a department spokesman. "Equipment with cathode ray tubes are bulky and take up space, and the glass of each device typically contains about 5 pounds of lead, which can be dangerous to the environment when the glass is broken," he says.

The department projects the amount of electronics equipment dumped throughout the state will grow to 300,000 tons by 2005. As a result, the new ban "gives us a head start in what could be a huge onslaught of CRT disposal down the road," the spokesman says.

Massachusetts residents will have the option of bringing their unwanted CRT equipment to one of six collection centers throughout the state. Another option is for the state to establish a curbside recycling program, much like the one in place for the disposal of "white goods" such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers.

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