Radical environmentalists in state legislatures around the country are working hard to make it illegal to throw away trash. The stealth effort has already born fruit in Colorado, where it is now illegal to throw old electronics, such as computers and TV sets, in the dumpster.
This means the garbage man in Denver won’t take away your old printer or that old TV set with the picture tube. He can’t take it away legally because it’s illegal to throw so-called e-waste in landfills. E-waste includes almost all old electronic items, including digital cameras, laptops, monitors, printers, and even shredders.
The ban was enacted under something called the Colorado’s Electronic Recycling Jobs Act or Senate Bill 12-133. It’s been signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper, and it went into effect on July 1.
Unfair to Rural Residents
The law is particularly unfair to rural residents. People who live in urban areas such as Denver can drop off some items at stores like Best Buy and Staples or go to events sponsored by companies like Sony. Persons who live in rural areas, such as Park County or the Eastern Plains, are out of luck.
If you don’t have a recycling center or a store that accepts electronics in your area, you’re stuck. What this means is that a lot of old electronics are simply going to be dumped in the woods or the gulley somewhere. That, of course, creates more environmental problems and more pollution because some of the electronics contain toxic chemicals.
Anybody who walks around back roads in Colorado already sees debris such as old tires dumped all over the place. We’ll soon be seeing piles of old computer monitors, TV sets, and cellphones as well. The alleys in Denver are already filled with all sorts of garbage, and there will soon be a lot more garbage there as well.
Small business owners will also be hurt by this because a lot of people who are unable to get rid of their old electronics will simply toss them in somebody else’s dumpster. The garbage man will see this and refuse to haul the trash away. The small business owner will then end up having to recycle somebody else’s electronics.
What’s worse is that the illegally dumped e-waste will harm the environment. How long before all the fish in some popular trout stream are killed because somebody dumped a load of old computers into the creek in the middle of the night?
Once again, rural residents will bear the brunt of urban liberals’ shortsighted do-gooding. We’ll either have to pay more to get rid of our trash, or worse, be forced to break the law just to get rid of old junk we don’t want.
The E-Waste Recycling Scam
If this wasn’t bad enough, there’s a good possibility that a lot of the e-waste recycling will be nothing but a scam. Some guy will hang up a sign that says “recycling center” and charge people a $1 apiece to take in old electronics. Then he will load them up in the truck, drive to Nebraska or Wyoming, and pitch the recycling in the first landfill he sees.
Actually, we’ll be lucky if the recycled items are hauled to another state. There’s a strong possibility they’ll just be taken out into some empty field and dumped into the first ravine the recycler sees. My guess is that we’ll see the first news story about a rancher who finds a pile of old copying machines dumped in his pasture in August.
In fact, that’s probably what’s happening with a lot of the recycling taken back through stores like Best Buy. Instead of recycling, the retailers will simply ship the waste to other states where it can be dumped.
This will happen because the labor costs for breaking down all those old electronics are simply prohibitive. The value of the materials recovered from a lot of recycled items is less than the wage you’d pay the guy breaking it down. Those costs will get even higher when Obamacare’s health insurance requirements go into effect.
Coming to Your State Soon
People in other states should get worried because such requirements will be repeated elsewhere soon. It won’t be long before mandatory recycling is brought in elsewhere, probably California.
In Colorado, the environmentalists claim that the effort will create jobs. There’s no evidence that it’ll create any jobs for anybody except a few illegal immigrants. They’ll be paid to break up the e-waste or load it into cargo containers to be shipped to Bangladesh and broken down. Labor costs in that nation are low enough to make e-waste recycling there profitable.
Mandatory Recycling on the Way
What’s even worse is that mandatory e-waste recycling is only the tip of the iceberg. After e-waste, the extremists will try to force mandatory recycling of items, such as aluminum cans, tin cans, glass bottles, and paper, even though there is no market for many of the materials being recycled. Many waste companies no longer accept some recycled materials because they cannot find a market for them.
What that means for average people is a massive increase in garbage bills or taxes to pay for government-run garbage collection programs. The cost of having trash picked up could double, triple, or even quadruple to pay for “recycling.”
That, of course, will lead to an ecological disaster, as large numbers of people choose to simply dump the trash. Vacant lots, alleys, ditches, ravines, and rural areas would quickly fill up with trash because the poor would have no choice but to pitch.
What’ll probably happen is that after a couple of years, the recycling requirements will get repealed after the public gets fed up with the piles of trash along the roadside. Unfortunately, the environmentalists won’t be the ones who’ll pick up that mess or pay to get rid of it.
It looks like extreme environmentalists have found a new way to hurt average people and the environment in the name of waste reduction. People throughout the nation should take a good look at what is happening in Colorado because the lunacy of mandatory e-waste recycling is about to be rolled out nationwide with potentially catastrophic results.