Atlantans recycle old electronics for free

22 11 2008

Cedric Brown finally parted with a trusted friend Saturday — his first computer.

It was an IBM XT, with two floppy drives, and he ran Lotus 1-2-3 on it way back in 1985, managing spreadsheets for a lighting company.  Saturday afternoon, Brown handed the archaic device over to a worker in the Green Lot at Turner Field, who tossed it onto a stack of PCs where it was shrink-wrapped and loaded into a semi-trailer.

After his machine ceased functioning, Brown said, it gathered dust in the basement as a reminder of his computing beginnings. “I just couldn’t being myself to part with this particular computer until now.”

Dozens of trailers stood by as men driving forklifts loaded them up with pallets of computer monitors, printers, console televisions and even a rather attractive “Fireball” pinball machine.

Organized by Sony and Waste Management, the one-day electronics recycling program retrieved about 230,000 pounds of abandoned gizmos that would have otherwise been bound for the garbage heap.

Electronics frequently harbor toxic metals and other pollutants that can threaten waterways and human health for years. TV monitors can contain up to eight pounds of lead, and many batteries include cadmium, said Chad Miller, of Houston-based Waste Management.

While consumers usually have to pay a fee to dispose of such items, Sony covered the cost of Saturday’s recycling, all of which will be re-processed by Marietta recycler MOLAM International Inc.

At that facility, event organizers said, the equipment will be broken into its component parts, and reused or disposed of with strict adherence to environmental protection.

The goal of Saturday’s collection was to emphasize responsible electronics recycling.

“We hope by holding events like this, that the message gets out,” Robert Benavent, an environmental engineer with Sony Electronics, said as he watched a line of cars and pickup trucks snake through the collection site.

Read on here.

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