Tuesday, November 20, 2007

PC Recycling comes to Blaine County

To implement the PC recycling program, SISW (Southern Idaho Solid Waste) contracts with PC Recyclers of Idaho to service 10 drop-off locations in SISW’s seven county jurisdiction. The 10 drop-off sites are the product of two years of work by SISW.

So why should anyone bother to recycle their computer? The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality states it’s a matter of self interest. In Idaho, 90% of drinking water comes from groundwater sources. When computers and electronics are disposed of in landfills, the lead and other toxic metals they contain can leach into our groundwater over time. This poses such a health problem that some states, such as California, ban computers from landfills and collect a $6-10 tax on computer equipment to help fund a statewide electronics recycling program.

Motivations extend beyond good community health however, especially for businesses that opt to landfill their old computers. Businesses that landfill PC equipment must determine if they contain hazardous materials and if so, must document and report their disposal to government agencies. Those businesses that generate hazardous waste are governed by extra federal and state regulations – an expensive and time consuming choice when compared to free local recycling.

If you have a computer that you want to dispose of, first determine if an easy upgrade can extend its useful life. If not, and the computer still works, try calling the local school district or an area non-profit. They can often use a donation and your obsolete computer can turn into a tax deductible donation. If the computer is broken beyond repair or a donor cannot be found, bring the computer down to Ohio Gulch for recycling. If you have 10 or more computers, contact SISW at 208-432-9082 for a special pickup. Clear Creek also offers a special pickup for $35 per piece of equipment if you are too busy to avail yourself of the free drop-off site. For any questions about PC recycling, or recycling at large, call the Environmental Resource Center at 208-726-4333 or visit www.ercsv.org.