Updated: Dec 15, 2020
By Chadwick Dolgos
Starting January 2021, Valley Waste Service will begin collecting and recycling e-waste from Stowe Township residents on the fourth Thursday of each month.
During Stowe's Board of commissioners’ regular meeting held in October, the board voted unanimously to utilize Valley Service’s e-waste collection services at a new rate of $23.39 per month, a total of $1.25 more per month than last year.
“For us, it was a no-brainer,” said Commissioner Darrell Chestnutt, who hopes the new service will deter residents from disposing their e-waste in alleyways.
E-waste includes televisions, computer monitors, computer towers, printers and computer peripherals, which are defined by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection as keyboards, mice, or “any other device sold exclusively for external use with a computer that provides input into or output from the computer.”
“If you look around the township, what you’ll see is there are a lot of electronics laying in our alleyways,” said Chestnutt. “You’ll see TVs, you’ll see computers, and that’s because nobody takes them.”
Commissioner Cheryl McDermott notes that televisions contain wiring that can be sold as scrap, thus enticing scrappers to break open the units and discard the remaining parts.
Prior to the township entering into this agreement, Chestnutt said a recycling company would have to be called to dispose of e-waste, which could range from $30-80 per item depending on size. “If we have an average of $50 a TV, and we have 10 TVs, we have to write a check for $500.”
Starting Jan. 1, residents can call Valley Waste customer service and schedule a pickup.
“If they don’t schedule first, we won’t know to pick up their items,” said Joe Orlich, general manager of Valley Waste Service.
Residents will also be expected to provide the brand name, screen size and style, and the approximate weight for each item prior to pickup.
Pickups are limited to one television per month per household, and a total of three televisions per year. “This is to prevent relatives and residents from surrounding towns from coming over and disposing of their old TVs,” said Orlich.
Orlich explained that Valley Waste provides e-waste collection and recycling services to any municipalities interested.
“Recycling [e-waste] is very expensive,” said Orlich. “After we collect enough, we have to ship the items to Illinois for a specialty recycler.”
The Covered Device Recycling Act prohibits select electronic devices from being disposed of in Pennsylvania landfills.
The act requires devices that fall under the category of “e-waste” to be properly recycled.
“The biggest thing is these are not going to be laying around our streets and alleyways anymore,” Chestnutt said.
Valley Waste will continue to pick up scheduled e-waste items on the fourth Thursday of each month for the entirety of 2021.