May 5, 2014

E-Waste Event Recycles Tons Of Would-Be Garbage

ABC 20 news

More than 3.2 million tons. That’s how much electronic waste ends up in landfills across the country each year.

Now a local initiative is hoping to cut down on those numbers. Electronics Collection Day is something the Sangamon County Department of Public Health organizes annually and each year they help recycle more e-waste.

“We’ve already seen at least 250 cars,” Sangamon County Department of Public Health Assistant Director Gail O’Neill said.

Each vehicle was carrying a batch of old monitors, lap tops and even old vacuum cleaners.

It gadgets may be heavy but Vintage Tech Recyclers work fast.

“It just takes minutes. I mean the people come through and as you’ll see you’re in and out,” O’Neill said.


Out with the old–

“Precious metals and stuff, separate that. Plastic,” Vintage Tech Recyclers worker Francisco Hernandez said.


In with the new–

“New iPads, pods, whatever. New TVs, flat screens. Definitely,” Hernandez said.

The idea is to keep these gadgets out of landfills.

“Generally each year in the last three have had 200,000 pounds of materials come through. So we’d like to break that today and get closer to 300,000,” O’Neill said.

All the while, keeping old gadgets out of your home to collect dust.

“We have what we call the hoarding room and we’re cleaning it out and getting rid of it,” Springfield resident Jim Perry said.

The Environmental Protection Agency says before you recycle see if you can upgrade that old computer or sell that old tv. Passing along electronics that still work helps reduce the amount of waste that can’t be recycled.

And remember, before you dispose of that old laptop or cell phone delete all personal information.

If you missed Saturday’s Electronics Recycling Event don’t worry, many retailers will accept e-waste year round at no charge.