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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.
Also, proper recycling of electronics ensures the reuse of as many materials as possible. This reduces the environmental impact of consumer electronics as well as lowers the economic costs for the manufacturer.
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In October 2009, Governor Jim Doyle signed Wisconsin Act 50 into law. The purpose of this law is to create a program for the collection and proper recycling of certain electronic devices. The law also prohibits certain electronics from being disposed in landfills or incinerators.