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Looking to dump your old computer?

November 8, 2012

Area residents with old DVD players, computers and other electronics will have the chance to help the environment soon, when Keep Big Spring Beautiful and the city of Big Spring team up for the annual e-waste collection day.

Collection is set to begin Friday, Nov. 16, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. for businesses or residents needing to do away with 10 or more computers or other electronic items. However, the collection will be open to everyone in the community Saturday. Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Both collections are being held at the Municipal Landfill, located at 4100 E. FM 700.

According to Johnny Womack, environmental services and assistant director of public works with the city of Big Spring, the volunteer effort will be targeting electronic products that have reached the end of their useful lives, such as old computers and monitors, cable television converter boxes and fax machines.

“It’s one of the fastest-growing segments of waste in this country, and we need to turn our attention toward recycling those items instead of increasing the burden on our landfills,” Womack said.

Electronic items must be handled differently from other waste items because their components can cause damage to the environment, according to Womack. Those special handling requirements have strained the budgets and resources of waste-disposal personnel throughout the state, he added.

“Some people aren’t aware of how much lead is actually contained in a computer monitor,” Womack said. “Also, things like cell phone batteries and other electronic items can contain very hazardous materials, so they need to be handled differently.”

Among the items that will be collected Saturday are batteries (excluding car and truck batteries); computer components, including cables, parts and components, keyboards, modems, printers, scanners and networking hardware; phone and PDA-related items such as pagers and voicemail and answering machine systems; video cameras; and citizen band radio hardware.

No batteries of any kind will be accepted, according to city officials.

“You will be required to sign a waiver releasing information on your computer at the collection site if you have not pulled the hard drive,” Womack said. “Information will be erased from the hard drive by the recycling company after donation.”

For more information on the e-waste collection, contact KBSB President Jan Hansen at 432-263-2616 or Womack at 432-264-2500.

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