August 2, 2006
Keeping up with technology means buying new gadgets and getting rid of the old. However, environmental officials said four million tons of electronic waste is dumped into United States landfills every year. Now, a local retailer is offering a solution.
If outdated electronics are not brought to a recycling center, they are usually tossed into the garbage. Computer monitors, televisions and some other electronic devices end up in the landfill.
"EPA and other government agencies in the past few years have commissioned studies that show electronic waste is one of the largest growing areas in the field of garbage," said Bruce Edmonds, the recycling manager of the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority.
Electronic waste, or E-waste, can pollute the land, water and even the air with toxic chemicals like lead and mercury. So, in an effort to help keep Virginia green, Crutchfield's Rio Hill Store is opening the areas first year round electronics recycling center.
"We are trying to give the community a place to dispose of it in a way that's being recycled and is environmentally friendly," said Jude DeFrank, a Crutchfield manager.
For a fee, the program allows customers to bring their E-waste to the store. The employees help load it into the truck and haul it away to be recycled.
"The Crutchfield Corporation's program will garner at least 15 to 20 tons a year of electronic waste, which normally would be shipped out of the area as [regular] waste," Edmonds said.
The program is only one day old and already it's getting attention from the locals who desperately need to get rid of their junk.
"We're having local agencies and businesses call that have had items stock-piled, wanting to know if they can bring them in," DeFrank said.
There is a fee to dispose of the E-waste. Most items on the list cost between $2 and $25. Items like cell phones and cables are free.