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Recycling Old Televisions A Real Challenge In Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Like many, Joe Brosky of Washington Township tried hard to get rid of two old television sets.

"There's a TV guy down there, and he says I don't take them anymore. I'd have to charge you $50 to get rid of 'em," Brosky told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.

Who wants to pay to unload old TVs?

It's a growing problem for those who have to recycle hard-to-recycle items like TVs and electronics when there are so few easy options.

Getting rid of these old-style televisions has become really difficult for people in Pennsylvania. State law says you can't put it out on the curb and recyclers say they're not making enough money when they try to recycle them.

"When you have a declining commodities market, it makes it very difficult to make ends meet," says Ned Eldridge, president of eLoop, one of the last recyclers of hard-to-recycle materials in Allegheny County.

eLoop takes in a million pounds of old televisions, computers, and electronics every month.

State law requires the manufacturers of these products to pay the cost of recycling, but the law has so many loopholes it's hurting consumers and recyclers, says the Pennsylvania Resources Council.

"The real solution in our mind, Jon, is to set a value on the cost of that recycling process so to ensure that the processors, the guys that are dismantling and breaking this product down, are paid a fair price to actually process this material. That's where the real challenge is today," says Justin Stockdale of the PRC.

Without reform, consumers will have fewer places to take their recyclables.

In the meantime, the PRC will hold hard-to-recycle collections at the Allegheny County Airport on Saturday, Aug. 22, and Heinz Field Gold 1A Parking on Saturday, Aug. 29.

But come early.

"When you're collecting a hundred thousand pounds of TVs in a four-hour stretch, it takes time to get those TVs out of cars," adds Stockdale.

If you can drive out to Plum, eLoop is an alternative, Monday through Friday.

"If you have a TV, you can bring it to our facility, drive to the back. Our guys will help you unload your vehicle," notes Tracey Flynn of eLoop.

"They took them both out. No problem," says Brosky. "No charge."

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