Monroe County among first in nation to properly dispose vape devices

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County has become the first places in New York and one of the first in the U.S. to accept and recycle vape pens and e-cigarettes. These items can be dropped off at the household hazardous waste area of the Monroe County Ecopark.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced on Monday that Monroe County’s Department of Environmental Services is partnering with waste disposal company Clean Harbors to collect and safely dispose of used vape devices and e-liquids at the Monroe County/Waste
Management ecopark on 10 Avion Drive.

“Vaping is not only a public health issue—it is an environmental issue,” said County Executive Bello. “Vape pens, electronic cigarettes and e-liquids are considered hazardous wastes and should not be thrown away. Monroe County is proud to lead the way in New York by taking action now to prevent these products from harming our environment.”

Both the products and the liquids used in them are considered dangerous and prohibited from being disposed of in the trash.

These products will then be recycled and turned into renewable energy.

"They will be transported to a facility out of state, where they will be transformed into energy. It is called waste energy process, effectively incineration and metals will be recovered from that process," said Michael Garland, Director of Environmental Services at Monroe County.

The recycling service will be held twice a week. There is no appointment needed and no charge to the public to drop off vapes and cartridges at the Monroe County/Waste Management ecopark.

County Executive Bello also announced the Monroe County Health Department and Department of Environmental Services will accept these devices from school districts, providing a way to properly dispose of any confiscated vape devices in their possession by enrolling in the County’s Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) Program. In order to participate, BOCES, Public School Districts and Private Schools will need to complete and submit a CESQG Form to the ecopark’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility.

“The Monroe County Council of School Superintendents is very pleased with the new vape disposal lservice provided by the county. Vaping is an epidemic among school students across the region and results in large amounts of confiscated paraphernalia. Now districts have a much-needed service to dispose of these devices safely and appropriately,” said Monroe County Council of School Superintendents President, Dr. Casey Kosiorek.