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New Hanover County helps the environment and recycles electronics


It was time to say goodbye to that old television that has been collecting dust.

“One of the key things with electronic recycling is the space that we save out at the landfill,” said Lynn Bestul New Hanover County Solid Waste Planner. “Plastic once it gets there and the glass from the monitors and the TV screens is going to be there forever.”

That is, unless you choose to recycle. And that is what hundreds of folks did Saturday in New Hanover County.

Not only is space an issue, but there are environmental concerns as well, because computers contain lead and mercury. They also contain arsenic, mercury, copper, titanium and the list goes on. But the largest part of a computer is silica; 25 percent. Iron makes up 20 percent. It is 23 percent plastic, and aluminum makes up 14 percent of most PC’s.

“We thought this would be a good opportunity to turn them in and end up not damaging the environment,” said Wilmington’s Bill May.

The electronic equipment, once it is loaded onto the Synergy truck, is headed for Madison, NC; a 5-hour drive by truck from Wilmington. “They’ll break it down and sell the plastic, the glass, all the copper, and all the aluminum inside. All of it is recyclable,” said Charles Scales of Synergy Recycling.

In the future, Lynn Bestul hopes to have a year round electronics recycling facility in New Hanover County, but there’s no timetable for such a project. As a result, Synergy Recycling will be back in a few more months.

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videoThe New Hanover County Environmental Management Department sponsored an electronics recycling event Saturday outside their Highway 421 facility. WWAY’s John Rendleman was has our report.

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