City prepares for e-waste ban in landfills

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The city of Northglenn is preparing for the July 1 statewide ban by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that prohibits a majority of electronic devises from being deposited in landfills.

The city council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance during its May 13 regular meeting that updates its ordinance to reflect the ban.

If approved after its second reading on May 20, the new language added to the city ordinance will be as follows:

“Electronic waste including, but not limited to: computers, printers, facsimile machines, digital video disc players, video cassette recorders, peripherals, radios, stereos, video game consoles, monitors, laptops, televisions, notebooks, tablets, electronic books or anything with a screen that measures more than four inches diagonally but does not include any type of telephone.”

During its May 6 study session, council and staff discussed the implications of residents not being able to use the city’s trash services to dispose of e-waste.

Interim City Manager David Willett said that there is $30,000 available in the 2013 budget to help get the word out to residents and prepare them for the change.

“We could contract a vendor to come in and provide that service (e-waste disposal) to help ease the blow,” he said.

Local retailers such as Best Buy, Staples and Office Depot do have recycling programs, but city staff advises residents to call ahead to find out restrictions.

Norm Bell, acting director of the public works department, said city workers will periodically check containers to be sure that residents aren’t disposing of e-waste after July 1.

“(The state) has stated that if we get some materials in the trash that we have no knowledge of, that they’re not going to ban us or we’re not going to get called back to the landfill to pick them up,” he said. “They will allow that material to be deposit in the landfill but they want us to do our due diligence to police the materials as best we can.”

If a resident does put an electronic device in a trash container after July 1, the sanitation department will leave that item in the container and tag it with an illegal notice as a warning, Bell said.

A public hearing is set at 7 p.m. Monday, May 20, at city hall, 11701 Community Center Drive, before council votes on the final reading of the ordinance.