What to do with that old computer | VailDaily.com

What to do with that old computer

Alex Miller
Preston Utley/Vail DailyAntique Macs collect dust in the Vail Daily offices, just waiting for a chance to be recycled. Local businesses and residents will have a chance to do just that July 22 when Alliance Recycles hosts an electronics recycle day at the Edwards rest area.

EDWARDS ” You know you have one: An antiquated Dell or Apple gathering dust in the basement that you know you’ll never use again but aren’t quite sure how to get rid of.

After all, computers, monitors, old cell phones, TVs and many other electronics contain heavy metals and other toxins that aren’t safe to dispose of in the regular way. Monitors and TVs contain lead and mercury (one monitor can contain 5-8 pounds of lead) and are considered to be household hazardous waste.

On July 22, Alliance Recycles will host “Get the Lead Out,” a one-day event where people can get rid of that old electronic junk in a safe manner. A new program of the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability, Alliance Recycles will accept old TVs, VCRs, computers, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, and mice. Just about anything with a battery or a plug is fair game, although no console TVs will be accepted.

Fees to recycle these electronics are $5 per computer, small printer or copier; $10 per monitor (up to 17 inch) and $15 per TV. Larger items may be charged more. Businesses with larger quantities of recyclables should call for an appointment.

“It’s been a few years since we were able to host an electronics event,” said Alliance director Matt Scherr. “At the rate computers become obsolete these days, we expect a lot of conscientious people out there have been holding onto some real Jalopies. Now’s the time to unload.”

The electronics collected at the event will be sorted by quality, allowing for reuse first.

“There is a hierarchy in the waste-reduction world,” Scherr said. “Reuse is always a better use than recycling, and we prefer something be reused in its original state before energy is expended in recycling.”

Higher-end components will be refurbished and donated to the Eagle Valley Community Fund. Everything else will be recycled in the United States following all environmental health regulations, Scherr said. Nothing is exported to other countries for landfilling.

Call the Alliance Recycles office at 569-3890 with questions or to volunteer for the event.

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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