Televisions, computer monitors, personal computers, laptop computers, keyboard, printers and even digital cameras were among the items being disposed of Saturday as cars lined up at the recycling center in North Rome.
The electronics items which frequently get thrown out with household garbage and eat up space in landfills can create environmental issues in a regular landfill because they often contain toxic and hazardous materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the demanufacturing process results in the recycling of items ranging from tin, silicon, aluminum, iron and plastics, which reduces the cost of manufacturing new items.
Recycling center Director Mark Skeggs said that on a typical electronics collection day the center would take in 14 tons of material.
“We have a company that we ship it to and they demanufacture it,” Skeggs said. “There is actually no money involved in it all. It’s a win-win. We used to have to pay $10 a TV to dispose of the clunkers that get turned in. Now I’ve found a company that takes everything for free.”
The recycling center does absorb the cost of inmate labor for the day. Skeggs said the program saves the community an estimated $600-$700 every other month if the electronics items were disposed of at the Walker Mountain landfill.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that slightly less than 20 percent of all discarded computers and related hardware get recycled each year.
The next electronics recycling event will take place in September.