Michigan surpasses goal of recycling electronic waste

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State officials say Michigan residents recycled more than 30 millions pounds of electronic waste last year.

That was more than 300-thousand pounds more than expected.

Things like TVs, computers and cell phones contain materials like copper, silver and gold that can be recycled and reused.

Originally, the state planned to recycle around three pounds of e-waste for each man, woman and child in Michigan.

They were pleased when residents exceeded that.

Steve Noble is the Coordinator of the Electronics Takeback Program for the Department of Environmental Quality.

He says among the factors that hinder ewaste recycling in Michigan is the lack of a landfill ban.

Should someone decide that they just want to throw their old television in the trash, they are allowed to do that. The idea of not putting this material in the landfill is that there are both precious metals and materials in these electronics that shouldn’t go into the landfills, especially televisions becauses there’s a lot of lead in the glass.

Noble says the D-E-Q is currently looking into a proposal that would ban electronics from Michigan landfills.

He says currently, Michigan ranks 15th out of the 25 states that have “electronic waste takeback” programs.