Monday, November 26, 2007

City calls computer recycling a success

The final computer reycling roundup was a resounding success last week, with over 126,000 pounds of computers, televisions and electronics collected from the 1,275 households bringing their obsolete equipment to the event.

The roundup, held every six months for the past 15 years, is ending to make way for a year-round recycling program, so people can drop off their old computers, TVs and other electronic goods at the city's two recycling dropoff sites, beginning Jan. 1, 2008.

City recycling coordinator George Dreckmann said more than a million pounds of electronics were collected from the public and recycled in the past seven years.

The roundup was sponsored by the city of Madison, Dane County, the Madison PC Users Group and Cascade Asset Management, a computer recycling firm.

Cascade will "retire" the equipment and recycle the usable parts.

Volunteers at the roundup, held at the city's transfer station on Olin Avenue last Saturday, were unloading over five cars a minute.

Computer monitors and laptop computers outnumbered recycled televisions by a 1,375 to 240 count at the roundup.

Dreckmann estimated 5,325 pounds of lead was kept out of landfills because of the latest reycling roundup.

"Because computer equipment contains hazardous materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium, it's important to keep these items out of landfills," Dreckmann said.

The year-round electronic recycling dropoff sites will be at 4602 Sycamore Ave. and 1501 W. Badger Rd.

Madison residents will not be able to put television, computer monitors, laptops or CPUs at curbside beginning Jan. 1, and will have to take the items to the dropoff sites for recycling.

The city will charge $10 for each CPU, monitor and laptop and $15 for each television brought in for recycling. Keyboards, scanners, printers, VCRs, DVD players, typewriters, stereo components, telephones, cell phones and miscellaneous computer parts will be accepted for recycling free of charge.