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North Hills Monthly

Avoid Digital Dumping: Ecycling Center Only One of its Kind in the North Hills

Aug 31, 2015 11:37AM ● By Clare Heekin Lynch
According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Americans now own approximately 24 electronic products per household. And in a society where just about everything is considered disposable and just about anything can be upgraded for something newer, sleeker, and in some cases, more energy efficient, electronic waste is growing exponentially.

While still a fairly novel concept, a state law passed in early 2013 has brought a new, and now mandatory, view to recycling electronics. The PA Covered Device Recycling Act basically states that covered devices and components must be properly recycled and cannot be taken to, nor accepted by, landfills or other solid waste disposal facilities. As a result of this new ban on tossing out electronics with the regular municipal waste, the term ‘ecycling’ has evolved.

“Ecycling is a term used for the reuse and recycling of electronic products,” said Jenn Carr, co-owner of Wexford’s Ecycling Recycling, LLC, located at 11490 Perry Highway. “Ecycling electronic items is critical for preserving landfill space and for ensuring that the hazardous materials that are used to make them are properly disposed of.”

Since starting her business in early 2013, Carr has seen an upswing in the recycling of these items. “The majority of people are environmentally conscious, and the state law has also driven the business up,” she said, adding that they company basically works by word-of-mouth. “In 2013, we recycled 287,000 pounds (about 143.5 tons) of electronics. In 2014, that number jumped to 447,000 pounds (roughly 224 tons), and right now we’re on target to recycle upwards of 600,000 pounds this year alone. And we still don’t feel like we’ve reached every home in this region yet!”

As the makeup of the Pittsburgh region becomes younger, Carr is seeing more electronics and older appliances being brought in. “The older population held on to items; if something stopped working, they put it up in the attic. Now, as they are downsizing, relatives and new owners are being left with all sorts of ‘gifts’ that they need to dispose of,” she explained.

Carr added that they take everything with an electric plug—from microwaves and hand mixers, to curling irons, electric toothbrushes, computer keyboards and mice. The most common items are televisions and computers and their components. While all small appliances are free to drop off, as are car, boat and back-up batteries, some items are assessed a small disposal fee, due to the operational costs incurred in running the center, including:
  • $5 for televisions ($10 for rear projection TVs)
  • $5 per tire, collected only on the third Saturday of every month
  • $10 for Freon appliances (wine coolers, dehumidifiers, a/c, refrigerators, etc.)
  • $20 for office copiers

The center also offers pickup service within a 20-mile radius for a $60 flat fee, which includes removal of the TV/appliance from the home or office. The center’s certified recycling partner, eLoop LLC, breaks down the TVs and monitors into glass and plastic and deals with the harmful contaminants at their site in Plum.

“We are a one-stop electronics recycling shop that offers as many recycling options as we can,” said Carr. “We just want to help keep our community clean.”

Keeping the environment clean through ecycling begins with each and every person. For more information, contact Ecycling Recycling at 412-367-0831 or visit them at