E-Waste Recycling is Easier than Ever in Hudson County

By Paul Ploumis

The Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA) is proud to offer Hudson County residents and small businesses with the opportunity to recycle their electronic waste for fre at collection sites located across Hudson County.

With Drop-Off Locations throughout Hudson County in Bayonne, Harrison, Hoboken, Jersey City, Kearny, North Bergen, Secaucus, Union City and West New York, there are plenty of options to dispose of unwanted and unneeded electronics. Accepted items include:

  • Cell Phones & Tablets
  • Computers & Laptops
  • Computer Monitors
  • Desktop Fax Machines
  • Desktop Printers
  • Electronic Devices
  • Keyboards
  • Televisions

Why Recycle Electronic Waste?

For one, the Electronic Waste Law in New Jersey requires that electronic waste be properly recycled.

Electronic waste in landfills and other areas can cause environmental hazards. The example, the illegal dumping of cathode tubes (found in older televisions, computer monitors, video cameras and other devices) can cause the release of lead, barium amongst other heavy metals leaking into groundwater and the release of toxic phosphor.

Electronic devices are also composed of valuable materials which require energy to mine and manufacture including glass, plastics and metals. Recycling of these materials avoids the release of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the manufacturing of these materials for future uses while also conserving natural resources.

The USEPA estimates that recycling one million laptops would conserve enough electricity to power more than 3,500 homes annually!

Is personal information safe with recycling e-waste? 

Personal computers contain a wealth of personal information such as banking information, photos, passwords and documents. Many are concerned that their sensitive information may end up in the wrong hands when disposing of their computers. As a part of the process, hard drives are removed and shredded prior to the remainder of the device being sent to be dismantled and recycled. This allows residents with the peace of mind that their personal information is secure.

What’s the process for recycling E-Waste?

The process varies depending on the type of electronic material to be recycled. For example, computers and printers are placed through a heavy-duty shredder to break them down into smaller chunks. These chunks are then sent through an optical sorting system which, using lasers, will identify the properties of each chunk and places the into bins for individual recyclable materials including plastics, metals and computer chips.

These bins are then sold for re-purposing. The plastics used in computers are composed of flame-retardant materials which are then reused towards the production of new electronic devices.

Older electronics, such as CRT monitors, must be dismantled by hand. CRT monitors have a layer of lead located behind the glass. This layer of lead was included to serve as protection from the beams of electrons which produced images on the screen. In fact, a CRT monitor could contain up to 8 pounds of lead. The lead is extracted and smelted in order to keep these materials from contaminating soil and groundwater.

What To Do With Other Electronics?

All other electronics are considered White Goods. White Goods include refrigerators, ranges, water heaters, freezers, window air conditioners and other domestic appliances.

Please contact your local Department of Public Works for information on the proper disposal of these items.