Author: Jeremy Posen
Date: December 31, 2008
Courier-Post Staff

Three new “green” initiatives here reward residents who recycle, save the borough money and eliminate electronic waste.

To get a head start on a program that will be mandated by the state in 2010, borough officials have introduced an electronic-waste recycling program for waste such as televisions, computers and outdated electronics.

The borough joined forces in mid-November with Thanks For Being Green LLC, a Westville company that collects and recycles electronic waste for several Burlington, Camden and Gloucester county municipalities.

In the program’s first month here, almost three tons of electronic waste was recycled and removed from the borough’s waste stream, according to Thanks For Being Green director John Martorano Jr. and borough recycling coordinator Russ Clark. That has saved the borough about $240, Clark said, noting savings of $82.32 per ton.

As program awareness increases and with February’s high-definition television conversion, Clark expects electronic waste savings to climb.

Cherry Hill and Monroe began recycling electronics with Thanks For Being Green in May. Respectively, 13 tons and 7 tons of waste have been recycled, Martorano said. Since October, almost 5 tons of electronic waste have been recycled in Burlington Township, and since 2007, more than 6 tons have been recycled in West Deptford, nearly 3 tons recycled in Deptford and nearly 5 tons recycled in Bellmawr, he said.

Martorano’s operation works out of a 15,000-square-foot facility on Delsea Drive, and there is room for other local governments to join. He said his drivers are on call to pick up electronic waste from municipalities’ yards, usually within 48 hours. There is a minimal transportation cost, as recycling is free, he added.

“All the de-manufactured product is brokered domestically across the United States,” he said. “It could be remanufactured into car bumpers or another computer.”

Residents here are urged to place dated electronics like computers, printers, VCRs, televisions and vacuums next to their recycling bins on regularly scheduled collection days.

The truck that picks up scrap metal also picks up the electronics, Clark said, and takes them to the borough’s Grove Street yard.

The borough’s Recycle Bank program rewards residents by giving them redeemable points based on how much they recycle. Points are given per pound, tracked by a chip attached to residents’ 65-gallon blue containers.

Clark projected the borough recycled some 2,100 tons of cardboard, glass, paper, plastic and aluminum this year, 100 tons more than the previous year.

“Every pound saves us tax dollars,” Clark pointed out. “It gives residents more recycle points, so there’s no reason not to.”

A third green initiative in the works is a state-funded energy audit of the borough’s facilities.

Officials here should find out at the beginning of 2009 if the borough has been accepted in to the program, said Randi Woerner, Glassboro director of economic development.

The audit would identify energy efficiency measures and recommend changes or upgrades that would reduce expenses and improve employees’ health, according to Woerner.

Reach Jeremy Rosen at (856) 486-2456 or jrosen@camden.gannett.com

MORE INFORMATION

For a complete list of electronic waste items that can be recycled by Thanks For Being Green LLC, visit www.magnum-llc.us/products.php. Municipalities interested in teaming with Thanks For Being Green can also visit that Web site or call director John Martorano Jr. at (856) 979-5310.

For more information about the Recycle Bank program and its redeemable rewards, visit www.recyclebank.com.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

Abstract (Document Summary)

Respectively, 13 tons and 7 tons of waste have been recycled, Martorano said. Since October, almost 5 tons of electronic waste have been recycled in Burlington Township, and since 2007, more than 6 tons have been recycled in West Deptford, nearly 3 tons recycled in Deptford and nearly 5 tons recycled in Bellmawr, he said.

Date: September 12, 2012
Elect1

Just some of the electronics collected last weekend at the Camden County Public Works Complex in Lindenwold. photo credit Anne Forline

By Anne Forline

Gloucester City News

After suffering through several laptop crashes and a change in my cable and Internet service provider, I was left with a heaping pile of electronics debris that I dealt with by piling it all up in a spare closet and shutting the door.

Although the laptops were “dead,” I was particularly unsure about what to do with them because I was afraid someone could still access the personal information contained on my hard drives.

As for the modems, routers and other pre-Fios equipment, I held onto them in case “somebody” could use them. So I took the path of least resistance and just took the pile and shoved it in a bedroom closet.

Not long ago when I opened the door to that closet, all of the electronics junk came crashing down around me. I could no longer ignore that this stuff was taking up valuable shelf space, but what was I supposed to do with it?

I took to the internet to see if anyone recycled old electronics, or at least, could put the old internet and phone equipment to good use. Almost immediately, I came across Camden County’s website. Not only did I learn that it is environmentally irresponsible to toss old electronics in the trash, it is also illegal.

On January 1, 2011, legislation went into effect that prohibits the disposal of “covered electronics” into regular trash pickup.

The “Electronics Waste Management Act” defined covered electronics to include computer monitors, desktop and laptop computers, televisions and any electronic device that has a viewing screen larger than four inches in diagonal.

Covered electronics are considered “hazardous” because of the chemicals they contain.

According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, covered electronics contain lead, mercury, cadmium and other toxins.

I was relieved to learn that I could get rid of my old stuff at one of Camden County’s sponsored consumer electronics collection events. So on a Saturday morning in early spring, I loaded the junk into my trunk and drove down the White Horse Pike to the Camden County Public Works Complex in Lindenwold.

Prior to getting there, I was thinking there would be a few random cardboard boxes with some people directing donors to just toss their stuff into them.

Not so. I was surprised to find myself waiting in a line with other people who were looking to get rid of their old electronics stuff.

I saw trunks being emptied of broken fax machines, damaged TVs, obsolete computers and outdated telephone equipment. The workers were organized into quick-moving teams that sorted everything into giant, specifically labeled cardboard boxes.

Apparently, I was not the only one who stockpiled electronics junk. Last year, in 2011, Camden County collected over 187,459 pounds of electronics during its events.

Freeholder Jeffrey Nash is the liaison to the Division of Environmental Affairs and said that Camden County’s electronics collections events are always popular.

“Because of the quick advances in technology, people replace electronics more regularly and do not know what to do with their old ones. So, people store them. Since the County has taken steps to host special collection events, residents can safely declutter their closets by bringing their old electronics to one of the events” Nash explained.

As for the hard drives, residents can be assured that they will be destroyed. John Martorano, Jr., director of Magnum Computer Recycling, assists the County by facilitating the electronics collection events.

He explained how the hard drives are erased once they arrive at the facility.

“We use a three-step total destruction system, which is videotaped on a 30-day loop. The first step is to remove the hard drive board from the drive.

“The second step is to degauss, or demagnetize, the drive in a magnetic field at 240 volts, which erases the drive and renders it useless.

“The third step is to manually crush each drive so it cannot be reused.”

Consumers can also remove their own hard drives with simple hand tools, Martorano said.

As a special service to Gloucester City News readers, any consumer who mentions this article can call Magnum Computer Recycling to make an appointment and have their hard drive removed at no charge.

Martorano also advised against trying to soak a computer in water as a means to try and erase the hard drive.

He said, “No amount of water will erase a hard drive.”

If residents are looking to further rid their de-clutter cabinets and garages of household hazardous waste, they will be happy to know that the County will be holding special collections for them as well.

These collections are designed to keep household chemicals, such as automotive products, paint-related products, household cleaners and pesticides out of landfills.

The dates and times for the household hazardous waste collection will be held rain or shine from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 15, at the Pennsauken Sanitary Landfill, 9600 River Road, Pennsauken, and also on Saturday, October 20 at the Camden County Public Works Complex, 2311 Egg Harbor Road, Lindenwold.

The next electronics recycling collection will take place on Saturday, October 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Camden County Public Works Complex, 2311 Egg Harbor Road, Lindenwold.

If residents are unable to bring their old covered electronics to the Electronics Collection Event, they can be dropped off at Goodwill Donation Centers or at an electronics store that participates in an E-Waste collection program.

For a complete list of what to bring to either the electronics or the household hazardous waste collections, visit: camdencoun-ty.com/parks/goinggreen/special-household-waste-collections.

To contact Magnum Computer Recycling for hard drive removal, call 856-853-1544 or go to http://www.magnum-llc.us.