PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s the classic government Catch 22.
Officials want you to recycle your old electronics and televisions, so-called e-waste, but then they won’t accept it as part of regular household waste or they charge you an arm and a leg to recycle it.
“It just became really cumbersome for our residents to dispose of properly small TVs, electronics, and even hazardous waste material,” said Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith on Tuesday.
The consequence is obvious to all.
“If you look at the hillsides and the roadways where you see TVs just sitting on the side or computers you know that it is an issue as well,” noted Kail-Smith.
Too many people are just dumping their e-waste, noted Kail-Smith, so on Tuesday, she introduced a bill to provide both curbside and drop-off options for those with old computers, t-v’s, and other household hazardous waste like paint.
“What we’re doing now is providing people a place to drop it off at one location in the Strip District. We’re providing an opportunity for residents to pay a fee and have them pick it up at their home, or we’re providing several community events where people can come to a drop off site and drop off the materials.”
The new city ordinance, which will be debated on Wednesday and voted on next Tuesday, does impose fees of forty cents for each pound of e-waste disposed of, and a home pick-up will cost an additional fifty bucks.
Kail-Smith hopes this will deter people from tossing their e-waste over the hillside.
“People want to do the right thing but if they don’t have the opportunity to take it someplace and the price is increasing, then we need to do what we can to provide those opportunities.”
If approved by city council next week, the new recycling services would begin in January.