Tag Archives: e-waste

Bergen County Free 2014 Computer/Electronics Recycling, Tire Recycling & Paper Shredding dates

The 2014 Computer/Electronics Recycling, Tire Recycling and Paper Shredding program dates and locations are 9am-2pm rain or shine at:

Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bergen County Campgaw Mountain Reservation, 200 Campgaw Road, Mahwah
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bergen County e-waste collection, tire recycling & doc shredding on 6/22

bcua recycling eventThe Bergen County Utilities Authority (BCUA) will be hosting a computer (e-waste), tire recycling, and personal document shredding event on

Saturday 22 June 2013 9am-2pm
Bergen County Campgaw Mountain Reservation
200 Campgaw Road, Mahwah NJ

The BCUA will be accepting personal confidential documents for on-site shredding from Bergen County residents. The BCUA will also be collecting computer, electronic equipment and old tires for recycling.

Privacy experts often recommend that individuals shred files, tax documents, credit cards and bank statements, and other items which could be used to commit identity theft. Residents will be able to observe their documents being shredded on-site. Acceptable documents are limited to confidential and sensitive materials only. Non-confidential materials, such as books, magazines, newspapers, etc., should be recycled through your local municipal recycling program and will not be accepted at this event. It is not necessary to remove paper clips, staples or paperboard binder covers. In an effort to accommodate all those wishing to participate, there is a limit of 4 bags or boxes of documents weighing no more than 10 lbs. each.

Acceptable electronic equipment includes computers, monitors, printers, circuit boards, speakers, modems, mother boards, power supplies, photocopiers, fax machines, televisions, VCRs and DVD players, stereo equipment, and cellular phones. Residents will be limited to the recycling of four tires per person. Tires will be accepted with or without metal rims.

These recycling services are free and available to Bergen County residents only. Proof of residency is required to participate. No material from businesses will be accepted. For further information about these programs, and for a schedule of future events, residents can call the BCUA Environmental Programs Hotline at 201-807-5825 or visit the BCUA Web site

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Responsible computer and e-waste disposal

e-waste-recycle binI was just about to give some old computers to someone who contacted me through Freecycle, claiming to be a recycler, when I learned at a seminar that a lot of electronic waste (e-waste) like computers and electronic gizmos contain highly toxic substances,

such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, beryllium and brominated flame retardants. When the latter are burned at low temperatures they create additional toxins, such as halogenated dioxins and furans – some of the most toxic substances known to humankind.

And, e-waste often ends up being shipped from the US to very poor countries where unskilled laborers – like pregnant women and little children – disassemble them and extract a few materials that are worth money to their employers, exposing themselves in the process to hazardous chemicals and the probability of shortened life expectancies. They are given neither danger warnings or protective gear.

70-80% of the e-waste that’s given to recyclers is exported to less developed countries. Once there, primitive technologies such as open air burning and riverside acid baths are used to extract a few materials. The rest of the toxic materials are usually dumped. Unlike other countries in the world, the U.S. sends a significant portion of its hazardous e-waste to U.S. prisons to process in less-regulated environments without the worker protections and rights afforded in the private sector. Moreover, such operations amount to government subsidies, undermining the development of responsible private-sector recycling infra-structure and distorting the economics of recycling.


The speaker at that seminar responsibly recycles e-waste, but only for big corporations. They’re not going to take just a few old, broken down laptops off my hands, so what should I do with them? Knowing the correct terminology is useful when searching: I googled “computer responsible recycling” and a few clicks later, learned that there is an e-waste steward right in my town. I’ve emailed that company and hope they’ll soon take those relics off my hands and dispose of them without destroying anyone or my family’s air and water supplies.

Responsible disposal resources

The moral of this story is: only give your old electronics to organizations or companies when you’re sure they will handle them responsibly, either by reconditioning them or breaking them down without poisoning anyone in the process. Use these resources to find a responsible disposal recipient:

You can give your computer away to be refurbished and shipped overseas if it’s reasonably new and works, or look over this guide to learn how to recycle your electronic item responsibly.