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Used electronics recycling has become a growing concern for municipal and regional solid waste programs. The primary goal of this manual is to provide managers of these programs and other local officials with the basic tools to set up and operate effective electronics recycling/reuse programs by learning from the experiences of their peers. In order to provide this base of experience, a national survey of existing electronics recycling/reuse programs was conducted. The results of that survey and the experience of recycling coordinators and other recycling professionals provided the foundation for this document.

Because of the national need to learn from the limited experience that exists in the United States, this project enjoyed support from the Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters, and Regions 1, 2, 4, 8 & 9. This document is not region specific, but is applicable to anyplace in the U.S. It is being written in conjunction with the development of training workshops.

The second goal of this manual is to help empower the creation of more electronics recycling/reuse programs around the country, and thereby stimulate a reliable and predictable source of used electronics, which will lead to more used electronics recycling and reuse market development. As recycling markets expand and become more profitable, we can anticipate that the cost to recycle cathode ray tubes will decrease, and in time there might even be a positive value.

At the same time that this manual is being written (September - October 2001), a national effort is unfolding to develop a system of product stewardship for computers and televisions. The "National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative" (NEPSI), is a coalition of governments (federal, state, local, and regional), manufacturers of computers, televisions and other consumer electronics, retailers, software manufacturers, non-profits and public policy groups, attempting to create a strategy for shared responsibility between government and industry in the end-of-life management of electronics.

The NEPSI process is scheduled to be completed in mid-2002, a likely result of which will be the additional availability of manufacturer and retailer recycling and take-back programs. It is not expected that these programs will completely replace government collection programs - however we can look forward to more end-of-life options and partnerships between government, manufacturers and retailers.

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Manual Contents

Cover Page (130K)

Section 1 (1.6MB)

  • Introduction
  • Manual Contents
  • Background
  • Section One - The National Survey

Section 2 - Considerations For Any Collection Model (2.1MB)

  • Chapter 1 - Getting Started ~ The Big Picture
  • Chapter 2 - Which Program Model to Choose?
  • Chapter 3 - Getting to the Details

Section 3 - Getting Specific (2.7MB)

  • Chapter 1 - Special Event Collection
  • Chapter 2 - Ongoing Collection Program
  • Chapter 3 - Curbside Electronics Recycling

Section 4 - Appendices

Part 1 (200KB)

  • Index of Appendices
  • Advisory Committee Members
  • Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. - Survey For Municipal Electronics Recycling Programs
  • List of Communities that Responded to Survey<
  • Complete List of Communities Identified with Collection Programs
  • Massachusetts State Contract CRT Pricing Memorandum, August 31, 2001
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Policy - Regarding Electronic
  • Waste Management, Region 5, August 3, 2001
  • California Department of Toxic Substances Control - Letter of Clarification on Management of Used CRTs
  • Excerpt of California EPA CRT Management Fact Sheet
  • Sample Planning Timeline for Special Events
  • Web-Based Directories for Finding Local Electronics Recyclers and Reuse
  • Organizations
  • Sample Request for Proposals #1
  • Sample Request for Proposals #2
  • Sample Contract for Electronics Recycling Services
  • Sample Event Sponsorship Request Letter
  • Sample Volunteer Agreement
  • Sample Press Release #1
  • Sample Press Release #2
  • Responses on Interference of Labels with Recycling Plastic From Computers
  • Guidance on Handling “Bare” Cathode Ray Tubes
  • Computer Recycling Programs Offered By Manufacturers
  • Sample Participant Survey #1
  • Sample Participant Survey #2
  • Program Sponsor Reporting Form

Part 2 (16K)

  • Asset Recovery and Recycling Certificate

Part 3 (32K)

  • Flowchart of Electronics Management Process

Part 4 (88K)

  • Community Collection of Discarded Computers: Waste Education Series

Part 5 (21K)

  • 1999 Minnesota Electronics Recovery Project Site Costs and Program Tracking Form

Click here to learn how you can make the money that you need and want in this home-based business.

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Michael Meuser bootstrapped his way into the salvage and recycling business in the early 1980s. He began with building deconstruction and scrap metals and then moved into electronics, computer and telecommunications scrap where he learned to recover gold and other precious metal.
Michael tells his story, provides resources and offers his advice at his website, RecyclingSecrets.com, and his blog, Recycling Secrets Blog. Recently Mike completed the eBook How to Make Money in the Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business. It is a chronicle of his experiences, successes and failures in the business. Also, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

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