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WEST WINDSOR: Free collection of electronic waste ends immediately for township residents

By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
WEST WINDSOR — Township residents who want to get rid of their old television sets, computers and related equipment will have to find alternatives, because the Department of Public Works will not pick them up anymore.
The new policy regarding the pickup of electronic waste takes effect immediately.
The change in policy does not affect the pickup of metal items, such as refrigerators and freezers (with the doors removed), clothes washing machines and dryers, water heaters, air conditioners, gas grills, lawnmowers, microwaves and car batteries. They are picked up on Tuesdays, on an appointment basis.
The township had contracted with a recycling company to pick up the so-called electronic waste items — televisions and computer-related equipment — after they were collected by the Department of Public Works, but the company has changed its business plan, township Business Administrator Marlena Schmid told Township Council Monday night.
The company will not pick up electronic waste items – at least, not for free, Ms. Schmid said. If the township wanted to continue to work with that vendor, it would cost $33,000 per year under the company’s new business plan.
“In the past, we paid nothing (to the vendor). This came as a surprise to the township. We got no notice (of the change, until around the new year),” Ms. Schmid said, adding that the township had offered free pickup and disposal of electronic waste to its residents for at least 12 years.
Going forward, residents do have some options, Ms. Schmid said. They may get rid of their electronic waste at one of the two “Dumpster days” offered by the township, scheduled for June 4 and Sept. 17.
The Mercer County Improvement Authority offers five electronic waste drop-off days, she said. The next one is set for Feb. 20 in Trenton. The other dates and locations will be posted on the township’s website when they become known, she said.
Best Buy and Staples, both located in West Windsor Township, also will take some electronic items for recycling, Ms. Schmid said. There may be some restrictions, such as the maximum size of a television set, she added.
“With the saturation of the marketplace and the world economic situation in flux, the demand for computers and the electronic recycling market is no longer as viable as it once was,” Ms. Schmid said. She noted that in 2014, the township Department of Public Works picked up 48 tons of electronic waste.
Township Council President Linda Geevers said it is “unfortunate” that the free collection of electronic waste items has stopped. She commended Ms. Schmid’s efforts in seeking out alternatives for electronic waste disposal.
More information on electronic waste disposal will be posted on the township’s website — www.westwindsornj.org — as it becomes available. 

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