Even though tossing electronic waste into landfills is illegal in North Carolina, only about ten percent of residents in New Hanover County make the effort to recycle. County officials say the level of apathy among residents is a head-scratcher.
But Verizon is expecting broad community participation at the e-waste drive, which takes place on Thursday, May 9th at the Verizon Call Center in Wilmington.
Verizon has hosted electronics recycling events for the past four years. And last year, says Project Manager John Dorn, the Wilmington drive netted more than 86-thousand pounds of material. But Dorn says many people don’t recycle because they don’t fully understand why putting old electronics into landfills is harmful.
“They do not decompose in any way. Also some of the electronics that are recycled -- including the monitors or even TVs – the CRT monitors in particular – they have lead in the actual glass so it’s also hazardous materials that are going into landfills.”
And that means that heavy metals can then leach into the soil – and potentially – the water. By breaking TVs, computers, toasters -- even electric can openers -- down to the basic components, 100 percent of the product can be re-used.
Laptops that are in good condition will be refurbished and donated to Work Vessels for Veterans. Usable cell phones will go to the company’s HopeLine program for victims of domestic abuse.
Drop Off Information for the E-cycle Rally:
The e-cycle takes place May 9th at the Verizon Call Center at 3601 Converse Road, near the intersection of Shipyard and Independence Boulevards in Wilmington (28403) from 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Recycling processor Anything IT provides security precautions:
Verizon cautions that hard drives in computers will not be wiped before the recycling process and suggests that companies and individuals may elect to remove the hard drives before dropping them off. However, Verizon’s recycling partner, Anything IT takes extra steps to ensure that all data is effectively eradicated. Anything IT’s Senior Vice President Paul Brundage describes their process this way: “We first remove the circuit board and any other plastics on the drive housing. This is because the circuit board has a different downstream process than the metal hardware of the drive housing. Then the drive is passed through a hard drive shredder at our facility with the drive destroyed as it passes through a series of interlocking gear-like wheels that grind and break the metal into smaller pieces. The resulting mixed metals are deposited in a container sent to a downstream metal processing center for material reclamation.”
Items that will be accepted include laptop and desktop computers, monitors, televisions, computer cables, mice and keyboards, gaming consoles, telephones and answering machines, stereo and audio equipment, paper shredders, alarm clocks, printers, cameras, conferencing equipment, remote controls, earphones, small electronic appliances (such as coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens and can openers), vacuum cleaners, irons, electronic toys and any electronic chargers. Standard glass, plastic and aluminum materials will also be accepted. Hard drives will not be wiped.
Items that will not be accepted include anything with hazardous waste such as batteries, inks/toners, and mercury bulbs. All batteries must be removed prior to drop off. Also not accepted are refrigerators or freezers, medical waste, units containing fluid such as motors and pumps, or any radioactive material such as x-ray equipment.