The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission will act on a new rule later this month that is designed to make it easier for televisions and computer monitors to be recycled. Theresa Stiner of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it changes the requirement for retailers to collect the old TV’s and monitors that contain cathode ray tubes.

Stiner says anyone who collects the devices with the tubes in them has to have a permit, the rule not just requires them to register with the state. She says it should make it easier for them, while still providing some regulation. Stiner says the tubes can pose an environmental threat if not properly recycled as the tubes have six to eight pounds of lead in them depending on the size.

Stiner says recycling the TV’s and monitors will not be new to some retailers as some are already doing it, such as Best Buy, Staples and Goodwill has a program for all sorts of electronics. Stiner says the retailers charge a fee to take the old TV’s and monitors, while others incorporate that into the sale of new items.

Stiner says the fees vary, but Goodwill does not charge a fee as they have an agreement with Dell to take them. She says Best Buy charges $10 , but gives a $10  gift card. Stiner says they charge a fee because it costs more to recycle the materials than what they get for them. Stiner says it’s important to see that the materials are properly recycle here and not sent overseas to countries that don’t regulate the recycling effort.

Stiner says some 100 million computers, televisions and monitors become obsolete in the U.S. every year. The E-P-C will take up the new rule at their meeting on March 16th.