Free TV Recycling ends for Michigan Residents
ATR (Advanced Technology Recycling) Grand Rapids Michigan announced today they will no longer be accepting residential drop offs after August 1, 2018. “The free program was rebooted during the Flint Water Crisis in 2016 and to date has prevented nearly 6 Million pounds of unwanted electronics containing large amounts of Lead from entering Michigan landfills.” said Brodie Ehresman a spokesperson for ATR. “While the eyes of the nation were fixated on Flints water ATR turned their attention to protecting the land” continues Ehresman. “We wanted to help and ATR was uniquely positioned to make a huge impact on reducing Lead and other contaminants destined to end up in Michigan landfills” said Ehresman. “So far we’ve diverted 3.3 Million pounds of CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) TVs and 2.5 Million pounds of old printers, flat panel devices, computers, phones and other misc electronics free of charge” continued Ehresman.
Did the campaign work?
“Free recycling programs like this are becoming increasingly hard to maintain because our logistics costs have increased dramatically” said Ehresman. Despite the increases, ATR launched an aggressive campaign in Michigan that allowed collectors, counties and competing recycling companies an opportunity to funnel devices through ATRs program provided they met the Michigan OEM Take Back program guidelines and it’s done free of charge. “The campaign was a total success” said Ehresman “we went from 163K in 2015 to 2.2M in 2016 which peaked at 3.1M in 2017”. Based on a 5 year report from the MDEQ collection volumes have been steadily dropping since 2014 as the old style CRTs are eliminated from the stream.
Michigan does not have a landfill ban on CRTs (Cathode Ray Tube) TVs which contain an average of 4-8 pounds of Lead per TV. The unwanted electronics also contain a toxic mix of Mercury, Cadmium, Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) and Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) and should only be disposed of by a R2 (Responsible Recycling) certified company. Despite being the first state to initiate a mandatory bottle deposit Michigan has struggled to keep pace with other states recycling programs. According to a 2014 report roughly 435 Million dollars worth of recyclable materials were being land filled each year. Michiganders currently dispose of 49 billion cubic yards of material every year, 40 percent of which is recyclable and 35 percent of which could be composted. Governor Rick Snyder recently told reporters, “We got complacent” and later added “failing to boost the state’s 15% recycling rate has been one of the most disappointing initiatives I’ve had in my time as governor” Although previous programs have fallen short of what was expected more strategies are being considered and Gov. Snyder recently announced a 79 Million dollar Proposal designed to increase recycling and material recovery in Michigan.
Why is the program ending?
“This was our most expensive campaign to date but it was the right thing to do at the right time” said Ehresman. “We literally outgrew our old building, starting wages went up $2.00 per hour, fleet vehicles were added, fuel prices increased but ultimately it was the freight costs that ended the program”. There has been a shortage of drivers and according to a recent article posted to the Bloomberb Business Section ELD (Electronic Logging Devices) are partly to blame as operations cost go up and drivers attempting to cheat the system go down. The majority of ELD’s including the ones being used in all ATR fleet vehicles are directly connected to the vehicles onboard computer through the OBDII (On Board Diagnostics) interface port and use GPS and Cellular technologies to communicate in real time. The devices can alert dispatchers of a wide range of conditions including speeding violations, hours in operation and even missed waypoints like mandatory weigh stations. Technology savvy companies like ATR welcomed these devices and equipped all their trucks with them years ago. The ELDs can provide conclusive proof the chain of custody was not broken and their customers can now see reports in real time to show exact cargo locations. These technological marvels also pin point exactly how long a truck is on the road so drivers who exceeded their 11 hour allotment will now be forced to take a mandatory 10 hour break before heading back out.
Advanced Technology Recycling (ATR) was formed in 2002 to meet the growing need of Business-to-Business customers seeking transparent and reliable ITAM (Information Technology Asset Management) Recycling solutions. The company’s original retail store was opened in 1992 by the parent company B & K Technology Solutions as a traditional Value Added Re-seller (VAR) and technology service provider. ATR’s senior management team has been providing ITAD (Information Technology Asset Disposition) sales and service since 1992. Over the past 25 years ATR has grown into one of the world’s leading electronics recycling companies and ATR specializes in customized solution and programs enabling their clients to realize higher investment recovery, lowered overall cost of end of life services and risk mitigation allowing each client to focus on their business without worrying about asset disposition and recycling. An updated list of accepted items can be found on their website www.ATReCycle.com or visit their social media site at www.Facebook.com/ATReCycle to chat with one of their customer service representatives.
Author Brodie Ehresman