Center sets fee for electronics recycling

Bartholomew County will begin charging a fee to recycle televisions and computer monitors at the Columbus/Bartholomew Recycling Center or the county landfill.

Beginning July 1, a $20 recycling fee will be assessed at the recycling center, 720 S. Mapleton St., or the landfill, off County Road 450S near Walesboro.

All other electronics will continue to be recycled at no fee, according to the Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management District.

“We’re not making any money off this,” district Director Heather Siesel said. “We’re just passing our direct costs for recycling on to the customers.”

Complications in electronics disposal began when a state law went into effect Jan 1, 2011 that prohibits Indiana landfills from accepting electronics with a screen, Siesel said. The law was passed in an effort to keep components containing heavy metals out of landfills, she said.

In 2013, when the local solid waste management district began sending televisions and monitors to Green Wave Computer Recycling, the Indianapolis firm did not charge the district because commodity prices were high, Siesel said.

But at the end of 2015, Green Wave notified the district it was going to start charging for each accepted unit, Siesel said.

While the district paid the company $5,527 to recycle the televisions and monitors last year, the charges increased to $6,201 for the same service from January through April of this year, Siesel said.

Because of strong sales of state-of-the-art electronics, more Americans are discarding older-model televisions and monitors with cathode ray tubes that are heavy and difficult to recycle, Siesel said. Most of the glass in the older models also contains lead, so it can’t be remade into bottles or jars that contain food products, Siesel said.

For more information about the new fee, call 812-376-2614.

For more information

To learn more about recycling in Bartholomew County, visit bcswmd.com/.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.