Disposal of electronic wastes

EPA has no specific rules about the disposal of electronic wastes. The general rules on the determination of hazardous wastes apply here. If your electronic waste is a RCRA solid waste (and it is), does it exhibit any of the four hazardous waste characteristics (ignitability, reactivity, corrosivity and toxicity)?

Pay attention to the toxicity characteristic. Most color CRTs contain high levels of lead and lead is one of the TCLP (Toxic Characteristic Leaching Procedure) chemicals. If the lead concentration of Lead in your CRT is greater than 5.0 ppm, it is a hazardous waste according to RCRA.

Many printed circuit boards may also contain cadmium , chromium, lead and silver. All of these are on the TCLP list. If the PCB fails the TCLP test, it must be disposed of as a hazardous waste.

Many states also have their own guidance on how to manage your electronic wastes. Colorado is a good example. Here is a document from the state’s agency on how to handle your electronic wastes. Always check with your own state’s environmental agencies. Here is a link to all of them.

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