Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced this week that a statewide system for recycling "e-waste" -- obsolete computers, monitors, televisions, printers and other electronic devices -- could be in place for residents as early as this fall.

New regulations, recently approved by the legislature's Regulations Review Committee, now allow the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to move forward with setting up the system, including the designation of collection points around the state. The new recycling system will keep certain leaded glass, mercury and other hazardous materials from entering the environment.

"Connecticut is well on its way to implementing an innovative system for consumers to responsibly recycle electronic devices that is comprehensive, convenient and free," Rell said. "Under these new regulations, the cost for recycling these devices must be borne by the manufacturers and not our towns and taxpayers."

The governor said the new e-waste recycling system establishes an important precedent by including a measure of "producer responsibility," requiring manufacturers to pay for transporting and recycling unwanted electronic equipment.

DEP officials expect that collections points for consumers could be operating as early as this fall. Many municipal transfer stations will serve as collection points and offer this service during normal operating hours. DEP is working with towns that do not have transfer stations to develop other sites as collection points.

The e-waste recycling program applies to consumer- or household-generated electronic devices. E-waste generated by business, commercial or governmental entities is subject to regulation under federal and state hazardous waste management regulations.