On Your Side: Electronics Recycling

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

March 9, 2007

If you've ever wondered what to do with your old and unused electronic equipment, we've got an environmentally safe answer for you.

Columbia County is offering an Electronic Recycling Day tomorrow.

When the county held its last electronic recycling day, 23,000 pounds of old cell phones, computers and other unused equipment were collected.

Tomorrow, expectations are for even more donations.

12 On Your Side checked out the Creative Recycling warehouse near Atlanta to see what happens to the electronics after they leave here.

From TVs to computers to printers, when it comes to electronics, Creative Recycling can re-use just about all of them.

The goal is to help save something that's vital to all of us.

James Mann oversees the hundreds of thousands of pounds of donated items that come here every year.

"Strictly for the environment," he said. "We're keeping 'em out of landfills."

Once it arrives, workers strip it, sort it and pile it up.

Any donated computer can have its hard drive completely erased, saving you the worry of what might happen to any sensitive information you have on it.

From here, everything is piled up and taken to Tampa, where a machine called David is located. It's called David because it can churn up the Goliath amount of equipment that comes to it every year.

David doesn't just melt it all, it sorts it. For example, the glass on your TV has both glass and lead in it. David can separate the lead from the glass.

All of the material from the donations will be recycled, and then it's put to good use.

It's sold to companies who can use it to keep costs down.

"It's easier for many to make an item from the plastic we provide rather than use the raw product," Mann said.

When David saves one ton of copper, Creative Recycling says that saves 320 tons of mine waste. Pretty amazing.

The Columbia County Electronics Recycling Day will be held tomorrow from 9 am to 2 pm at the Columbia County Government Center on Ronald Reagan Drive.

Click here for more information.

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