Going shopping? Recycle your old electronics

Although I do not take part in the frenzy of Black Friday shopping (I like my nine to 10 hours of sleep, thanks), I understand the draw. Sort of. The best and biggest flat-screen TV with 82 of the best and biggest special features including a combined DVD / Blu-ray player / universal remote / coffee maker / dog-walker included. For 50 cents!

OK, clearly deals aren’t that ridiculous. But I have heard of some great bargains, and if someone else wants to wake up at 4 a.m. (or fight the turkey-induced drowsiness and stay up until midnight) and hit the shops, all the more power to them. But as you upgrade your TVs, computers, DVD/Blu-ray players and other electronic equipment this holiday season, be sure your crickety older models end up in the right place. Hint: It’s not the garbage.

The York County Solid Waste Authority offers a  “e-cycling” program, held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month at the Authority’s Yard Waste Transfer Facility located off Flour Mill Road in Manchester Township. Residents, businesses, non-profits and institutions are eligible to participate. You can bring up to three of each electronic device, and best of all — it’s free.

Electronic waste can be problematic when chemicals from the equipment leach into the surrounding soil, water or air when disposed of improperly. According to the e-cycling program, one computer can contain up to as much as eight pounds of lead. But never fear — the program accepts items from laptops to microwave ovens and everything in between:

  • Answering machines
  • Compact disc players, radios, stereos, tape players
  • Electric typewriters
  • Hard drives, laptops, modems, personal computers (CPU, monitors, keyboards, mouse), printers, printed circuit boards
  • Mobile phones, pagers, fax machines, telephones/telephone equipment
  • Microwave ovens
  • Televisions, VCRs

There are exceptions. The YCSWA website says not to bring: Electric equipment (such as toasters, hair dryers, wall clocks, or electric razors) OR construction demolition, furniture, appliances, white goods, or household hazardous waste.

When you drop off your items, the YCSWA hires an outside vendor “specializing in electronics recycling to manage the materials collected during this event. The vendor will harvest useable parts (circuit boards, power supplies, wood, plastic, and CRT glass); valuable metals (gold, copper, steel, aluminum); and potentially harmful components (lead, mercury and cadmium) and recycle them. Virtually all but one percent of the materials are recycled into new products.”

Cool, right?

So when you’re shopping for your new flat-screen, be sure your clunky square TV makes it into the e-cycling program. The next drop-off is Dec. 17.

Sarah Chain

I'm an avid reader and book lover living and working in downtown York. Follow me on Twitter at @sarahEchain.

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1 Response

  1. thanks for the information

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