MDE Launches Back-to-School eCycling Campaign

Press Release

 

Maryland Department of the Environment

Media Contacts

Julie Oberg
(410) 537-3010

MDE Launches Back-to-School eCycling Campaign
 

BALTIMORE, MD (August 9, 2006) - The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) launched the first part of a two-phase eCycling campaign to promote the recycling, or eCycling, of used electronic equipment.

The eCycling campaign is designed to run in August and September to coincide with the beginning of the school year, a time when new computer purchasing spikes. The first phase, which started July 31, consists of a 30-second television commercial on stations Statewide. The second phase, which begins August 10, consists of a targeted 30-second radio spot on stations in central Maryland. In addition to promoting the recycling of electronic equipment, the campaign is designed to raise the public’s awareness regarding the possible health and environmental dangers attributable to the improper disposal of obsolete electronics, including computers.

“Many parents will likely purchase new electronic and computer equipment for their children returning to school. Now is the perfect time to inform the public about the benefits of eCycling, and provide resources on how they can recycle their old electronic equipment,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick.

Electronics are quickly becoming one of the fastest growing components of America’s waste stream – Marylanders alone dispose of more than 64,000 tons of electronic equipment each year.

“Electronics contain heavy metals like lead, mercury and arsenic that may be hazardous to our health and the environment if not properly disposed,” said Horacio Tablada, director of the Waste Management Administration at MDE. “Promoting eCycling not only prevents these toxins from entering the waste stream, but also saves a considerable amount of landfill space.”

The campaign is the first major project made possible through computer manufacturer registration fees required under the Statewide Computer Recycling Pilot Program. Passed during the 2005 legislative session, the law became effective on July 1, 2005. The law requires certain computer manufacturers to register with MDE and pay a $5000 registration fee if they intend to sell computers in Maryland on or after January 1, 2006. Computer manufacturers are eligible for a reduced registration fee in subsequent years if they implement a computer take back program for their products that is free to returners in Maryland.

For more information on eCycling, and to find the drop-off site nearest you, visit www.mde.state.md.us/eCycling or call 410-537-3314.



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