Fee for collection of electronics begins Jan. 1

McELHATTAN — The Wayne Township Landfill will start charging a fee in January for all electronic devices banned from landfills by a 2010 state legislative act.

Under the Covered Device Recycling Act, televisions, desktop and laptop computers, computer monitors, printers and computer peripherals like keyboards were banned from landfills across the state as of Jan. 24, 2013.

The landfill has been accepting these electronics free of charge and transporting them to a facility in State College called eLoop that dismantles and rebuilds them.

However, the service is costly. The landfill spends about $50,000 annually to use eLoop.

“This is a problem that’s been getting worse and worse throughout the state,” said Landfill General Manager Jay Alexander.

Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority, which serves Tioga, Bradford and Sullivan counties, has stopped collecting banned electronics altogether.

Landfill Environmental Manager Mike Crist proposed a $20 flat fee for all televisions and computer monitors that customers bring to the landfill. The proposed fee schedule also includes $10 for each computer, desktop printer and scanner and $2 per computer peripheral like keyboards and mice.

“We wanted to make this as easy as possible, as painless as possible,” he said. “We’re anticipating these types of fees will manage to carry this program through 2018.”

Authority member Jim Lovette said he was afraid people would get sticker shock from the prices.

“Why don’t we just consider increasing our recycling fee a dollar?” he asked.

There are about 600 people in Clinton County, discounting the City of Lock Haven, who pay to use the recyling services. Alexander said $600 more per month would not be enough to offset the costs of packaging and shipping the electronics to eLoop over the course of a year.

“I just think people are gonna start throwing these things down over the banks,” instead of bringing them to the landfill, said Lovette.

Assistant Manager Marci Orndorf explained that the landfill received no funding from the state after the CDRA was implemented.

“It’s the most inexpensive way to do it,” she said of the proposed electronic fee schedule.

The authority approved the fee schedule unanimously, to begin Jan. 1.

“We’re trying to provide a service but it isn’t free,” said Alexander.

Bruce Peters was the only authority member absent from Wednesday’s meeting.