E-waste to be included in city-wide cleanup June 12
Baldwin City residents have become accustomed to getting rid of tons of junk every June during the City-Wide Cleanup, but this year they’ll be able to do even more by getting rid of e-waste safely.
The cleanup is set for June 12 and residents can bring all sorts of unwanted items to the power plant at 10th and Orange streets that day. But there will also be a dumpster for e-waste, all that unwanted old computer, television and other electronic trash.
“It basically is anything electronic,” said Roger Boyd, who has long been associated with recycling efforts in Baldwin City. “This would include computers, TVs, radios, DVD players, phones, microwaves, play stations, other electronic games, etc. If it has a circuit board in it, it is potentially hazardous to throw in the trash.
“All of these products contain lead, chromium, cadmium, nickel, zinc, mercury and other toxic waste products,” said Boyd. “These can end up leaching from a landfill and contaminating the soil and water table. We have become such a ‘throw-away society’ — unfortunately, we are beginning to realize there just is no such place as ‘away.’”
The e-waste materials will be picked up by Extreme Recycling of Topeka. The city is using that company because all separation of the materials is done in Topeka and is not shipped overseas to a third-world country.
“It is still legal to throw all of these products in the trash, but the legislation will eventually get here,” he said. “Businesses and universities are already required to safely dispose their e-waste. It is the right thing to do for the environment, so why wait for someone else to tell you start?”
The company will charge $15 for TVs and $10 for computer monitors. Other than those two items, everything is free.
“There is a market for almost everything in electronics except for the glass screens in TVs and monitors,” said Boyd. “The company has to pay someone else to take them and process them. It is a small price to pay to keep the pollutants out of the ground and water table.
“Be part of the solution, not part of the problem and bring your e-waste to the drop-off site Saturday, June 12,” he said.