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Pa. Best Buy locations no longer accepting electronic recycling

York County Solid Waste Authority urges residents to stay patient while they work toward solution with electronic recycling issues.

David Weissman
717-505-5431/@DispatchDavid
Alliance Computers, 984 Loucks Road, accepts electronics for recycling at no charge to the customer except for CRT computer monitors ($4) and large TVs ($10). (John A. Pavoncello - The York Dispatch)

York County residents have officially lost another outlet for recycling their televisions and computer monitors.

Best Buy will no longer accept the devices for recycling in Pennsylvania or Illinois, according to the company.

The company is imposing a new, nationwide recycling drop-off fee for televisions and computer monitors, but Pennsylvania law prevents such fees so it's doing away with the service here altogether.

A Best Buy news release states "collecting TVs and monitors free of charge in (our) stores is no longer economically feasible due to increased recycling costs and significant increases in volume."

York County authority suspends electronics recycling

Best Buy will continue accepting laptop computers, printers, speakers, keyboards and other devices that plug into a computer at no charge.

Electronic recycling has been a major issue for locals since the York County Solid Waste Authority suspended its program until further notice just before Christmas. The move came after the vendor it had lined up to provide the service told the authority it couldn't provide the service because it is cost prohibitive.

Ellen O'Connor, spokeswoman for the authority, said the loss of Best Buy really leaves people with no other option but to hold onto their large electronic equipment until the problem is resolved. About 3 million pounds of electronics had been recycled through the authority annually, she said.

"We're still working on an alternate program," O'Connor said, pointing out that this weekend's Super Bowl is typically a time many buy new televisions. "(Best Buy's announcement) raises the urgency even more."

Problems stem from a 2013 law, the Covered Device Recycling Act, that forbids most household electronics, such as computers, monitors, tablets, computer peripherals and televisions, from going to a landfill and requires that the items be recycled.

Trash biz booms, but many stuck with old electronics

Manufacturers and retailers aren't allowed to charge for recycling items covered by the law, but vendors not associated with manufacturers or retailers can charge a fee.

O'Connor said legislators are aware of the problem and need to amend the law to alleviate issues.

The authority has suggested lifting the ban on disposing old cathode ray tube televisions and computer monitors, which use tubes and feature leaded glass, and forcing manufacturers to handle a larger portion of the responsibility, she said.

Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com.