Dealing with old cathode ray tube monitors and televisions presents a major challenge for haulers and municipal waste departments. They are bulky and difficult to recycle.
And since the markets for making new CRTs from the materials in old CRTs went away many years ago as Americans upgraded to new display technologies, the downstream options are limited.
Counties in New York are being hit with the costs to dispose of these old devices and wrestling with what to do with it.
According to the Niagara Gazette:
The situation has gotten so bad that televisions with cathode ray tubes, which contain lead, are being tossed into the woods, said Mark LaVigne, spokesman for the New York State Association of Counties. He said it's because consumers aren't being told, as the law requires, how to dispose of the sets.
The volume of electronic devices entering the waste stream has surged as more consumers upgrade to flat-screen televisions and monitors, junking their bulky old sets.
Meanwhile, it is illegal for landfills to accept the old sets, which are considered as hazardous waste.
The e-waste law that went into effect in 2011 requires manufactures to subsidize CRT recycling and inform the public on how to junk unwanted equipment.
But the Association of Counties and officials in local waste programs say governments are shouldering much of the costs as New Yorkers toss out far more electronic waste than was envisioned.