After about a six-month-long hiatus, the electronic waste collection program will return to Pittsburgh in late May, said Alicia Carberry, who works in the recycling division of city Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Environmental Services. Pittsburgh City Council approved funding for the program last week, and Public Works has been working since November to secure a new contractor to manage the collection program after the previous one quit.

Now, with the Pennsylvania Resource Council — the state’s longest-standing environmental nonprofit organization — as the city’s new partner, the program can start back up. “We make it as easy as possible for people to dispose of things properly, in the right way and not continue to hoard them in bad attics and basements,” Ms. Carberry said. Ms. Carberry said electronic waste collection is “a real need” for the city, and she’s excited to get things up and running again.

In 2020, the program collected about 144 tons of waste from televisions and computers, plus about 47 tons of other hazardous waste, like paint, she said.  Not only does the program help city residents clean up their homes, it helps keep the city clean by limiting the amount of litter. Giving people a place to take their hard-to-dispose of items keeps electronic waste from being dumped in alleyways or other improper places to dispose of trash, Ms. Carberry said. And now residents can also get more information on how to recycle other miscellaneous things, like styrofoam, thanks to the help of Pennsylvania Resource Council. “Their environmental education programs and advocacy is going to be so useful to our residents,” Ms. Carberry said.

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Author: Hallie Lauer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette