Recycling one plug at a time
As many of you may know, I am passionate about recycling. In a smaller state like Delaware, where open space is limited, it’s important that we reduce waste in landfills, for the simple reason that we just don’t have enough space to store trash if we don’t have to. However, there is more to recycling than just glass, aluminum and paper. Each day nearly all of us use electronics that, after they break or become obsolete, end up in landfills, often times polluting our environment with dangerous chemicals.
That’s why I held a hearing yesterday to learn about how the government is recycling its electronics and what more we can be doing to cut down on waste. I was amazed to hear that the federal government discards up to 10,000 computers a day! These are electronics that have real value, especially considering that many have raw materials which can be re-used or refurbished, providing jobs and keeping valuable materials in our supply chain. When I was Governor, I created a program to repurpose outdated state government computers so students throughout Delaware could use them. This was just one small way we were able to reduce our footprint and repurpose a valuable resource. The federal government can and should be a leader in embracing similar programs to reduce its E-footprint, particularly since it’s the largest consumer of electronic goods in the U.S. By leading by example and leveraging market forces, the federal government can help expand opportunities for e-recycling for all consumers.
For now, Delaware residents can bring their unwanted or old electronics to any of our state’s Electronics Good Recycling stations, which can be found here. If your school or non-profit organization wants to get involved, you can arrange to have electronics picked up, cost-free, by calling the Delaware Solid Waste Authority at 1-800-404-7080.
As always, I welcome hearing from all of you on this topic, or any other. Please continue to let me know what issues are important to you by emailing me on my website, contacting me on Twitter, @SenatorCarper, or messaging me on Facebook at facebook.com/tomcarper.