CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) – Starting Jan. 1, Hoosiers are no longer allowed to throw old electronics in the trash. It's a new Indiana law that will be put in effect, to try to prevent harmful chemicals from leaking into our environment.
Old electronics are now called e-waste and this new state law will require residents to recycle their e-waste at designated sites.
Up until now, it's been an option. "We encourage everybody to be responsible," said Warren Nash, Director of Floyd County Solid Waste Management District.
Starting Saturday, if you don't get rid of electronics the right way, you will be breaking the law in Indiana. "We should be recycling those kinds of things or disposing of them responsibly," said Nash.
Hazardous materials such as lead and mercury can be found in a variety of electronics.
"So many of the components are toxic and so we don't want that in our ground water, so it is just the right thing to do to safeguard the environment for futures to come," said Candice Barksdale, CEO of Goodwill Bridgepoint in Clarksville.
Barksdale says for more than a year, her stores have offered alternatives to dumping your computers and TVs in the trash.
"Whether we sell it in the store or sell it for recycling, the revenues that we make go to fund services for children and adults with disabilities," said Barksdale.
You can drop off your e-waste at any Southern Indiana Goodwill store, free of charge.
Also you can check with your county solid waste district, many for a disposal fee, will also accept your old gadgets.
"We take about anything with a card on it, we take televisions, computer monitors, VCRs, printers," said Nash.
Nash says whether it's a law or not, it should be on your mind.
"Not only with electronic recycling, but all recycling, and right now we are trying to get the new law out to everybody so they will recycle responsibly," said Nash.
Recycling sites ask that before you drop off your computer make sure to clean off the hard drives.
There are no penalties for throwing away electronics, but lawmakers hope the law will serve as an awareness builder to encourage Hoosiers to protect the environment.