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Electronic recycling: 'Tons' of opportunity

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sBrenda Bockover takes inventory of used television sets and other discarded electronics at the Henry County Solid Waste Management District office. The latest pick up of those items generated an approximate 12,000 pounds of materials.
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JoAnne McCorkle, director/educator of the Henry County Solid Waste Management District, stands in the largely empty storage room of the Broad Street office where tons of discarded electronics had been stored until they were picked up this week. The room will probably be filled again soon. Last year, the district recycled 52.82 tons of electronic scrap.

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

When the phrase “tons of” is casually used in conversation, it’s an exaggeration – unless you work for the Henry County Solid Waste Management District.

There, they mean it literally.

Wednesday, the local office on Broad Street in New Castle emptied one of its storage rooms loaded with discarded televisions and electronics to a recycling agent, who hauled them away in two separate truck loads. District director/educator JoAnne McCorkle estimated each truck carried between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds of electronic materials.

“Obviously, this is a real issue for people,” McCorkle said when discussing what to do with electronics that no longer work.

Last year, the district recycled 52.82 tons of electronics. That’s 105,640 pounds – and McCorkle said the office is on pace to collect even more in 2018.

Recycling of electronics is just one of many services the district office provides for Henry County residents. The cost to drop off a television or other electronic device remains $5. District board members recently discussed possibly raising that fee, because it costs two or three times that much for items to be hauled away. But officials decided to absorb the extra cost as a service to local residents.

Those who have discarded televisions may bring them to the district office. McCorkle advised residents to call ahead at 765-529-1691 before loading their vehicle and heading to the office at 1121 Broad St., New Castle. 

“We have a small staff and sometimes we are out of the office, so it’s best to call and make sure someone is here before wasting a trip,” McCorkle said.

Electronics item accepted at the district office include televisions, computers, laptops, servers, CRT monitors, LCD monitors, printers, fax machines, scanners, DVD players, stereos, VCRs, video game consoles, keyboards and mouse, PDA’s, cell phones, MP3/iPods, phones, UPS batteries, copiers, typewriters, networking equipment, satellite dishes, cable boxes, projectors, computer peripherals, all types of external drives, vacuum cleaners (w/o bags), carpet sweepers (w/o bags), blenders (w/o glass), mixers, coffee makers, bread makers, fryers, irons, electric tooth brushes, holiday lights, radios, clocks, heaters, remotes, microwaves, metals (drills, screwdrivers, small saws).

Tox-Away Day, document shredding event coming up

Two popular events are coming up that help residents not only clean out their garages, but their offices as well.

Henry County Solid Waste Management District officials remind residents Tox-Away Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. The district has also scheduled its fall Onsite Document Shredding Event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.

Tox-Away Day will again be held at the Henry County Highway Dept. Residents are asked to enter at the Memorial Park main entrance. Residents may dispose of up to 10 gallons of household cleaners, flammables, pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, acids and bases, corrosives, aerosols, oil filters, antifreeze, brake fluids, cleaners, auto, household and rechargable batteries, fluorescent and CFL bulbs and oil-based paints. Also accepted is up to 10 gallons of used motor oil.

Tires are also accepted. Up to six auto tires will be accepted free of charge, with those additional $2 each. Up to four semi tires will be accepted free with each additional one $5 each. Any tire larger than 54 inches will be $75.

Electronics and appliances will also be accepted for a fee. For that list, see adjacent story.

The on-site shredding event will be held at the New Castle/Henry County Public Library. Ten banker boxes (or the equivalent) will be accepted per person. Residents are asked to please remove clips and metal spirals, but staples do not have to be removed.

Last year, the district did 5.62 tons worth of paper shredding.