Area residents and businesses dropped off an estimated 25,000 pounds of outdated electronics Saturday at Columbia County's first Electronics Recycling Day at the Evans Government Complex.
The largest single contributor of items was Club Car, which delivered a load estimated at two tons, but Stacie Adkins, the county's community events manager, said most of the items were brought in one at a time.
"We didn't know what to expect," she said. The turnout shows there is support for two recycling days in 2007. She said residents of Richmond and McDuffie counties, as well as those from South Carolina, contributed items ranging from typewriters and turntables to computers and cash registers.
James Mann, of Creative Recycling Systems Inc., a private recycling contractor collecting the goods, said recycling days such as the one on Saturday help people who find it difficult to dispose of their outdated electronics.
"Over a year, their computer breaks down and they buy a new one and they need someone to take the waste," he said. Creative Recycling Systems recycles the reusable plastic, glass and metal and resells functional or reusable components, he said. Mann said his company wipes hard drives with a U.S. Department of Defense-certified device to protect sensitive personal and corporate information.
According to the company's Web site, more than half of heavy metals found in landfills are from improperly disposed electronics. Mann said computers and monitors contain dangerous chemicals and printers are often mistakenly disposed of with ink or toner cartridges, which are harmful to the environment.
If disposed of improperly, those hazardous materials can seep into the ground and contaminate water or air.
Angela Ferguson, of Martinez, said her family cleaned out their garage and decided to recycle an old computer.
"We got a laptop. We upgraded. We don't need this big, clunky thing anymore," she said.
The recycling drive was held by Columbia County Community and Leisure Services and Keep Columbia County Beautiful.
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