County approves deal to collect TVs and other “e-waste”

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 August 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Orleans County residents will soon have three drop-off sites for televisions and other “e-waste.”

Garbage crews stopped picking up the televisions on Jan. 1, and residents instead have been discarding many of the TVs into ditches and along country roads.

Legislature Chairman David Callard said about 500 have been picked up by highway crews this year.

The Legislature on Wednesday approved a deal with Sunnking Incorporated of Brockport to pick up and dispose of cathode ray tube televisions, monitors, computers, peripheral devices and other household electronics.

The company will be paid $14,782 annually for the service, effective Aug. 26.

“This is a plan in the interim while the state gets its act together,” said Chuck Nesbitt, the county chief administrative officer.

Residents will be able to drop the household electronics at the Murray Town Hall, Orleans County Highway Department in Albion, and Shelby Town Hall.

The state on Jan. 1 began banning curbside disposal of older TVs with cathode-ray technology. Many residents have upgraded from those televisions, switching to popular flat screens. Many of the older TVs have been dumped in ditches along rural roads.

Manufacturers were supposed to take back older TVs, but the state capped the amount of discarded material companies have to accept each year. Manufacturers have been hitting that cap midway through the year.

“The issue is exacerbated by the fact that electronics currently sold today are much lighter than the obsolete CRT devices that make up about 70 percent of the weight of e-scrap generated, which are cost intensive to responsibly manage,” according to a resolution passed by the County Legislature and other local municipalities.

“As a result, many local governments across the state have grappled with the burden to fund or cease e-scrap collection, which has been particularly difficult in rural communities that do not benefit from retail collectors or economies of scale,” according to the resolution.

The County Legislature and other local municipalities are asking Gov. Cuomo, the State Legislature and State Department of Environmental Conservation to work towards a long-term solution for electronic waste recycling for both urban and rural areas.

“We’re excited to get this under control,” Callard said on Wednesday, when the county announced the plan. “It’s a commendable program.”