Electronics recycling in Frontier district

NEWPORT-Huge cardboard boxes filled with everything from television sets and computer monitors to disk drives and video game consoles lined the wall at the entrance to Newport Elementary School Tuesday, a testimony to community members’ need to recycle their electronic devices.

“So far we’ve had a good response. There’s a lot more than I thought we’d have,” said Bruce Cassady, technology director for Frontier Local Schools.

This week, from Monday through Thursday, Cassady has arranged an electronic recycling event for residents of the district.

“It’s the first year I’ve done this for the community,” he said. “Over the last couple of years we’ve really worked hard to get rid of any recyclable electronics from the schools in the district, but this year I didn’t have a lot for the recycling company to pick up, so I decided to open it up to the community.”

Cassady said the items go to Electronics Recycling Services in Bellaire, and the company has provided boxes that have been placed at each of the district schools where community members can drop off their electronics items.

“They just have to take their devices anytime through Thursday evening to their nearest school in the Frontier district,” he said. “The recycling company will pick up the boxes on Friday and haul them away.”

Recycling electronics just makes good sense because there’s very little waste left after the devices are recycled, and it keeps those items out of landfills where they may impact the environment, Cassady said.

He noted that, by law, schools and businesses must recycle their electronics.

Rob Reiter, coordinator for the Southeastern Ohio Joint Solid Waste Management District, is also sponsoring an annual electronics recycling event at the Washington County garage on Colegate Drive from Aug. 12-14.

He said the need for recycling of electronics is growing every year as old technology is constantly being replaced by new devices.

“We always have a big turnout for these events and take everything from cell phones and telephones to copiers, printers, television sets and cable devices,” Reiter said. “We don’t accept appliances during electronics recycling.”

Reiter said district-wide, which includes a six-county area, last year’s electronics recycling events brought in 175 tons of devices.

“We send the material to dismantling facilities in Cleveland and Texas who recycle the metals and plastics,” he said. “There’s literally nothing left when they get done with the process.”

Precious metals like gold or silver are retrieved from the devices, too.

“Typically the older technology is more desirable because those electronics were built with more of the precious metal,” Reiter added.