Now is a good time to clean out the attic, garage and storage shed as spring looms around the corner. When spring cleaning, be sure to set aside recyclable materials to take to the county's electronic Recycle Mania event on March 28.
According to Jenny Hinton, coordinator of Keep Columbia County Beautiful, this is the fourth year of the electronics recycling event.
"Our March 28th event will mark the third year that glass recycling and paper shredding have been available," said Hinton.
Almost 23 tons of electronic equipment, 6.25 tons of shredded paper and two tons of glass were recycled last year.
Items being accepted for recycling are cell phones, computers, monitors, laptops, scanners, printers, fax machines, calculators, phones, pagers and servers. Other recyclable items include cameras, routers, hubs, electronic game consoles, rechargeable batteries, camcorders, stereos, DVD players, VCRs and answering machines.
Free on-site paper shredding will be offered for residential use only. Brown, green and clear glass also will be accepted. There will be a $10 cash fee for television recycling.
"The electronics are taken to Creative Recycling's plant in Atlanta, where the electronic materials are recycled in an environmentally responsible manner," said Hinton. "Precious metals are reclaimed and reined. Ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics and cardboard are sold as scrap. Hazardous materials, such as television picture tubes, are managed in a way that meets or exceeds state and federal environmental standards and regulations."
According to Hinton, when the recycling process is complete, 99 percent of the total incoming material is either used or recycled.
The Environmental Protection Agency notes on its Web site that "electronics consist of valuable resources, such as precious metals, copper, and engineered plastics, all of which require considerable energy to process and manufacture. Recycling electronics recovers valuable materials, conserves virgin resources, and results in lower environmental emissions -- including greenhouse gases -- than making products from virgin materials."
The EPA suggests that recycling a million desktop computers "prevents the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual emissions of over 17,000 passenger cars" and "recycling 1 million cell phones saves enough energy to power more than 19,000 U.S. households with electricity for an entire year."
While numerous types of items are being accepted at the county's Recycle Mania event, there are some items that are unacceptable. They include wood speakers, electric ovens, microwave ovens, handheld kitchen electronics, washers, dryers or any kitchen appliances.
All recyclable material will be accepted on March 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Evans Government Center's front parking lot on Ronald Reagan Drive. Call (706) 312-7195 or visit www.columbiacountyga.gov.
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