E-waste Recycling Spreads in the West

January 14, 2011

Denver Recycles has announced an electronic devices recycling collection event, called Eco-Rally. It is scheduled for Saturday, February 12.

For those who don’t reside near Denver, contact your recycling organization and inquire about events like this on the how and where of recycling electronics devices.

According to the announcement, “Denver residents may recycle their old electronic devices on Saturday, February 12, 2011 by scheduling an appointment to attend the Eco-rally Electronic Recycling Collection Event.”

Denver Recycles writes that its Eco-rally functions as an electronics recycling, education and engagement initiative “to address the serious environmental concern of TVs and electronics in landfills.”

The recycling of electronic devices – once overlooked by people and companies – has grown significantly over the last decade.

In fact, interest in the recycling of e-waste is growing worldwide due to concerns for protecting soil and water supplies. Huge amounts of electronic waste from computers, cell phones, and televisions get sent to landfills in the United States and overseas in poorer countries. The items that are tossed are known to leach poisonous chemicals into the soil and underground water supplies.

Here is the Eco-Rally drop-off information for Denver residents:

  • LOCATION: Metech, 500 W. 53rd Pl., Denver
  • APPOINTMENT TIMES: 8 AM to 4 PM
  • FEE: $5 per vehicle, cash or check only.  Limit of 2 “screens” (televisions, monitors and/or laptops) per vehicle. Additional screens will cost an additional fee of $5 per screen.
  • ITEMS ACCEPTED: Televisions, monitors, CPUs, laptops, printers, scanners, faxes, keyboards, mice, stereos, external hard drives and storage devices, cellular phones, telephones, DVRs, VCRs, digital cameras, video recorders, MP3 players, and some small appliances such as microwaves.
  • ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED: Air conditioners, large appliances, vacuum cleaners, car batteries or household batteries (rechargeable batteries okay).

As for the practice of single-stream recycling, where all recyclables are put in the same container and sorted at a recycling centers like the one serving Denver, it is important to understand that certain items will not work with this practice.

Denver Recycles also posts shows displays information on five items that should never be put in a recycling cart or bin:

NO FOOD OR LIQUIDS – Cans, bottles and other containers should be empty.  Containers don’t need to be spotless to recycle them, but a quick rinse can help to prevent any odor or pest problems from arising in your cart.

NO TISSUES, NAPKINS OR PAPER TOWELS – These items are made from paper that has very short fibers (this makes them soft). Unfortunately these fibers are too short to recycle.

NO STYROFOAM® OF ANY KIND – Styrofoam, or polystyrene, is like no other plastic.  The available markets for reprocessing these materials are very limited.  There are a few companies that will take a limited supply of bulk packaging Styrofoam® – to find them check out our online Recycling Directory at DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles.

NO COAT HANGERS – Neither metal nor plastic coat hangers are accepted in your purple cart.  Check with your local dry cleaner to see if they take back coat hangers for reuse or recycling.

NO PLASTIC BAGS – Plastic bags are the worst thing you can put in your purple recycling cart. Plastic bags get caught in the equipment used to sort recyclable materials, and too many can cause the entire facility to shut down.  Most grocery stores accept plastic bags for recycling, or better yet reduce the amount of plastic bags by using reusable bags.

All recyclers should keep in mind that recycling practices such as these should be adhered to for all recycling locations. It is also important for information like this to be shared with many.


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Glenn Meyers

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.
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