The list of private collectors and recyclers in California keeps growing; it's approaching 600 and ranges from auction houses to nonprofits.
In addition to California, 18 states have laws on the books that remove the burden of funding e-waste collection and recycling from consumers and places it on the products' manufacturers. In Minnesota, Missouri, and New Jersey, manufacturers pay a fee to help fund collection programs. New York City has a cell-phone recycling bill and landfill ban.
Six states, including Illinois, Massachusetts, and Nebraska, are considering such legislation. Some states are considering legislation that would force manufacturers to accept e-waste.
Whatever the details, such laws are designed to reduce the amount of e-waste in landfills before solid waste agencies get involved. Trash cops
Solid waste department prosecutes two illegal dumpers in eight months.
Last year, Reading, Pa., spent $265,000 on picking up and carting away old tires, broken appliances, and busted furniture left in vacant lots and woods. Solid Waste and Recycling Program Coordinator Frank Denbowski figured there had to be a better way to identify culprits than conducting 24-hour stakeouts.
So he tried something the police chief recommended: motion-sensitive surveillance cameras.
Seeking a low-maintenance solution, Denbowski installed FlashCAM-880 “vandalism-deterrent” camera systems from Q-Star Technology at a dozen locations throughout the city, which has 82,000 residents. Retailing for about $5,000 each, the solar-powered cameras capture up to 700 high-resolution digital images that he wirelessly downloads to his desktop.
The camera allows users to record a 14-second message — such as “Attention, you are being photographed” — while illuminating up to 100 feet around it with a bright flash. “People are so startled they look up into the camera to try to find out where it is,” Denbowski says.
Denbowski moves the cameras around the 10-acre city to keep scofflaws off guard. So in addition to providing irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing, he says, his $60,000 investment is “a very effective prevention tool. Word gets around.”