BANGOR – A recycling firm will accept drop-offs of used TVs, computers and other electronics at the Bangor Mall on Saturday.
The company, eWaste Recycling Solutions, which has been contracted by the state, will be set up in the Sears parking lot from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6.
Maine residents may drop off used electronics for free, although businesses seeking to dispose of electronics will be charged a fee.
eWaste Recycling will accept a broad range of electronic equipment, including: computers, computer monitors, TVs, printers, game consoles, clock radios, microwaves, cell phones and cell phone batteries. The company will not accept “white goods” such as refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers.
“Basically, it’s anything around the house that you would consider an office machine or that you would find in the electronics department of a store,” said Mike Doran, a partner at eWaste Solutions.
Participants will be required to show ID proving they are Maine residents.
Used electronics are among the fastest growing and most problematic components of the waste stream in the United States. That’s because they often contain a cocktail of potentially hazardous materials.
For instance, television sets and older computer monitors may contain several pounds of lead. Other toxics found in electronic products include mercury, cadmium, lithium, brominated flame retardants, phosphorus coatings, and PVC plastics, according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. These toxic substances can be released into the environment when disposed of or burned.
Maine became the first state in the nation to require that manufacturers of TVs and computer monitors share the cost of disposing of used items.
More than a dozen other states have followed suit with similar regulations.
“So Maine was a real trailblazer on this,” Doran said.
Televisions and computer monitors collected through the state program must be dismantled domestically.
China and other undeveloped countries have become dumping grounds for used electronics from the U.S. in recent years.
Under the state program, eWaste Recycling also will hold collection events on Dec. 13 at Lowe’s in Brunswick and on Dec. 20 at the Augusta Civic Center.