Electronic & Hazardous Waste Disposal
As of September 1, 2010 Wisconsin's electronic recycling law went into effect prohibiting all electronics from disposal in landfills or incinerators. Electronics contain potentially hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury, that can pose a risk to human health and the environment if not properly managed. Electronics, including computers, computer peripherals, televisions, cell phones, printers and other electronics contain many known harmful materials such as lead, mercury, chromium and many others. When improperly disposed, these hazardous materials can leach into the surrounding environment and affect both human health as well as the surrounding ecosystem. Improper disposal may also expose waste management workers to additional risk.
Items That Cannot Be Placed in the Trash
The law bans the landfilling and incineration of several consumer electronics. These bans apply no matter where the devices are from or who used them - including households, schools, businesses, governments and institutions. Specifically, the bans include:
- Computers (desktop, laptop, netbook and tablet computers);
- Desktop printers (including those that scan, fax and/or copy);
- Computer monitors;
- Other computer accessories (including keyboards, mice, speakers, external hard drives and flash drives);
- DVD players, VCRs and other video players (i.e., DVRs);
- Fax machines; and
- Cell phones.
Disposal and Recycling of Electronics
There are several electronic recycling facilities located in Racine and Walworth counties. To search for a location near you click here.
The City of Burlington Wastewater Treatment Facility is a mercury collection site. Mercury light bulbs and thermometers that are not properly disposed of can cause potentially harmful mercury poisoning. Please keep the City's Wastewater Treatment Facility in mind when you have mercury-containing items to dispose of. Bring your old mercury thermometers and light bulbs to 2100 South Pine Street. Used household batteries are also accepted (vehicle batteries are excluded). Items can be dropped off Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. There is no charge for this service; however, it is limited to City of Burlington residents. Proof of residency will be required. Please feel free to call 262-539-3646 with any questions.
Paints and Hazardous Waste
You may dispose of latex and water-based paint with your trash. You must either fill the can with cat litter to absorb the paint or remove the can lid to let the paint completely harden. Oil based paint, lacquers, mercury products and other hazardous waste cannot be disposed of in the trash. Clean Sweep programs are held periodically with the City of Burlington and neighboring communities to provide residents a venue to dispose of these items.