State Requires Computer Recycling

A new state law is in effect this week that requires all computer manufacturers to provide free recycling. The law is intended to bring budget relief to county and city governments that often pay for electronics recycling. Laurie Johnson has more
Right now the City of Houston recycles 400-500 tons of computers and parts every year. Tax money pays for the recycling. But new state legislation will allow the city to send all those parts back to the manufacturer.

Zac Trahan is with Texas Campaign for the Environment. He says companies such as Dell, HP and Apple now have to provide free, convenient recycling across Texas.

"According to the EPA less than 13 percent of all electronic waste in America gets recycled every year. So to increase that percentage is very important because old electronics such as TVs or computers already makes up the majority of heavy metals like lead or mercury in landfills in the country."

Here in Houston, Goodwill Stores serve as drop-off locations for old computers. Jonathan Lowe says they collect the electronics and then refurbish or disassemble and recycle the parts.

"Chances are most of us have a closet-full of old CRT monitors or old keyboards and all of the cream-colored boxes that we started out with. The best thing to do is to take those to a Goodwill location and donate them for free."

Goodwill is able to offer the free recycling thanks to funding from Dell.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...