When you recycle an old computer, television set, or other electronic item, do you think about where it might end up?
KALB cares a great deal about how your electronics are processed once they leave our center. That is why we have chosen Creative Recycling, a national electronics recycling company, to handle our electronic waste or e-waste. Creative Recycling has been our buyer of choice for electronics since we began accepting e-waste.
Creative Recycling was featured in an article by National Geographic as one of the responsible recyclers of e-waste in the United States. A three million dollar shredding machine, which Creative Recycling named "David", can process 24,000 lbs. of e-waste each hour...the equivalent of 800 computer monitors. "David" can make quick work of the "Goliath"-size piles of electronics that are sent its way! The shredding, sorting, and recovery process are all done in a safe environment at their Tampa, Florida headquarters.
Sadly, only 30% of all electronics are recycled in the first place, the rest going to landfills where they can leak lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, beryllium, and other hazardous waste if the landfill is not properly managed. According to a 2008 article in National Geographic, approximately 80% of the e-waste that IS recycled in the United States is exported to Asia. It is more profitable to ship the materials overseas than to process it properly in the United States.
When electronics are shipped to poor countries lacking in regulations, the e-waste often ends up in piles on open land. It is then "processed" by area residents using hammers to break apart computers, TVs, and other electronics, exposing themselves and the environment to very harmful byproducts. These byproducts, such as toxic metals, can then be "recycled" into products such as toys and jewelry marketed here in the United States. Broken plastic, heavy metals, broken CRT screens, and other dangerous debris often wash into waterways, and ultimately find their way to the ocean.
The Good News
Residents and businesses that bring their electronics (anything using batteries or electricity), will never have to worry about e-waste ending up outside the United States. We ensure that all e-waste entrusted to us is processed by a responsible, certified electronics recycler.
Except for TVs, which have an $8.00 disposal fee, all other electronics are accepted free of charge at the Recycling Center. They must be brought in during business hours.
Last fiscal year (Oct-Sept), the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center sent 25 tons of electronics to be recycled. We know there is a lot more out there stored in closets and basements, and even more that are being tossed in the trash. This community has a jewel of a recycling center in its midst. We'd like you to get to know us better. How about stopping in to say hello...and bring in some e-waste to recycle while you're at it!
By: Lynne Hart