11/15/04 — Record amount of electronics gets junked

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Record amount of electronics gets junked

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on November 15, 2004 2:00 PM

Keep Wayne County Beautiful broke its own record Saturday, collecting almost 45,000 pounds of old electronics for recycling.

"The most we ever collected before was around 30,000 pounds," said Simonne Cato, executive director of KWCB.

Franklin Smith, owner of Franklin's Recycling, provided labor, pallets, a 53-foot-truck and a 26-foot-truck to collect the electronics. But he still wasn't totally prepared for the amount of stuff that came in.

"This is going to be a very big load," he said midway through the morning.

By noon he had run out of pallets and had to borrow some from Sam's Club. Employees from the store also came out and helped load the trucks.

People were waiting in the parking lot at 9 a.m. to drop off their electronics, and though the event was supposed to be over at 2 p.m., Smith and his workers were there until 7.

"They filled up both trucks, front to back and top to bottom," said Ms. Cato. "They could barely close the doors."

Stereos, old computers, and televisions filled a corner of Sam's Club parking lot Saturday, as a steady stream of people kept dropping off electronics.

Young, old, rich and poor, all came to drop off some unwanted or obsolete electronic item.

An insurance company brought a truckload of old computers. Smith also took a truck by Wayne Community College and the D.S. Simmons construction company to collect obsolete equipment before 9 a.m.

Items collected included traditional consumer electronics, such as computers, printers, keyboards and scanners. There were also televisions, VCRs, stereos and fax machines, digital cameras and cellular phones.

Some of the computers and printers are taken apart by Smith for parts.

"Our idea is to keep it out of the landfill," Smith said. "The glass and the lead is not biodegradable. But on a computer or printer, the metals all can be reused. Everything can be recycled."

Ms. Cato said that people often set aside older computers, thinking they will find some use for them, but can't because they become obsolete so quickly.

"And there's no point then in hanging on to them," she said.

The organization usually holds two electronics recycling days a year, one in the spring and one in the fall.