Recycle Computers and Electronics on Feb. 11

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Recycle Computers and Electronics on Feb. 11

Posted: 02/07/2012
 The City of Knoxville is partnering with several organizations including the Optimist Club of West Knoxville and the Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad to host "Plug Into Your Community" eCycling events in Knoxville and Knox County this month. The final one is this Saturday, Feb. 11.

Both are drive through, drop off, and leave events, meaning residents won't even have to get out of their vehicles to recycle old computers, laptops and some other electronic items.

The event will be from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, at Chilhowee Park. It will take place rain, snow or shine. 

These free electronic waste collections events give people a chance to properly dispose of electronics items that contain hazardous materials and keeps computer equipment from taking up space in landfills. Recycling electronics also allows for the salvage of materials that can be reused in the manufacture of new electronic products, which helps the environment by reducing the need for raw materials in the process.

Acceptable items include computer equipment like PC systems, CPUs, monitors, mice, keyboards, printers, scanners, laptops, modems, hard drives, speakers, power cords, cables, phones, power strips, desktop copiers, fax machines, and cell phones.

These items may contain significant amounts of hazardous metals. Some switches and relays, for instance, may contain mercury and printed circuit boards and monitors may contain metals like lead, chromium, cadmium and mercury.

Additional items acceptable at the event this year are small household appliances such as radios, microwaves, stereos, vacuum cleaners, toner/ink cartridges, docking stations, CD-roms, TVs, fax machines, and other office electronics, rechargeable batteries, telephones and tape players.

Unacceptable items include electronic equipment containing hazardous chemicals, small refrigerators, stoves, appliances, scrap metal, aluminum cans, cardboard and paper. Also not allowed: Devices containing or emitting radioactivity, car batteries, mercury-containing devices, smoke alarms, light bulbs (fluorescent or incandescent), thermostats, thermometers, air-conditioners, fire extinguishers, gas-powered engines, and bio-waste.

There is no charge to drop off your old computer and other related electronic devices but donations will gladly be accepted and will benefit the Optimist Club of West Knoxville and the Volunteer Rescue Squad. Other sponsors of the event include WBIR-TV, Best Buy, WUOT-91.9 FM, Creative Recycling., Knox County's Solid Waste Department and, B97.5

Residents participating will be eligible to enter to win a wide screen TV from Best Buy.

Last year in this event, over 1,500 City and County residents recycled 77 tons of computers and peripherals. According to John Homa, Solid Waste Project Manager for the City of Knoxville, recycling those materials is the equivalent to saving the energy use of 18 households a year, saving 577 barrels of oil, 26,749 gallons of gasoline, and removing emissions from the air of 41 vehicles for a year. Besides the events, residents may still recycle their old computers for free at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center at 1033 Elm St. during regular business hours.