COLUMBIA -- Until today, tossing a television out with the trash in South Carolina was simply bad for the environment. Now, it's illegal.
The S.C. Legislature in 2010 passed an electronics recycling law that banned televisions, computers, computer monitors and printers from the solid waste system. That portion of the law goes into effect today.
Separate regulations setting penalties for violating the law were approved by the S.C. House but were stalled in the Senate and held over to the 2012 legislative session. If approved, they place the onus not on consumers but on landfill operators, who can be fined $1,000 per violation for accepting the banned electronics devices.
Those devices contain toxic substances, including lead, mercury and cadmium. When they are deposited in landfills as "e-waste," the toxins can be released into the atmosphere or seep into the land and ground water.
Here are tips from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control's website on how to properly dispose of such devices:
In many cases, you have to pack the device and ship it. With larger devices, there can be shipping charges. State officials expect most consumers will be more likely to drop off electronics at local collection locations. But if you prefer to ship the devices back to the manufacturer, DHEC has compiled a list of links at www.scdhec.gov.