Computer Recycling

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 9:51am

Organization recycles old and donated computers.

So, you've upgraded to the latest and greatest in computers and can't figure out what to do with the old one.

Because they contain lead and mercury, local laws probably prevent you from dumping them at the landfill.

That's where Goodwill Industries comes in.

Their "don't dump, donate" computer recycling program was launched about five years ago and has really hit a stride.

"114 million pounds of computers and electronics kept out of landfills last year," said Bo Hussey of Goodwill Industries.

With computers that no longer work, Goodwill takes out and literally smashes the hard drive, then sells what remains to vendors who extract the precious metal inside or grind the plastic and glass for re-use.

Hard drives are erased on computers that do work.

The units, to include monitors and printers, are cleaned up and put up for sale.

"People are able to get those at a great price, we're able to keep them out of the landfills and we're able to help put people back to work in our community," said Hussey.

But as ambitious as the goodwill program is, they and other recyclers estimate they're still getting just one-tenth of the computers that can be recycled.

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