Posts filed under ‘Electronics’
Be sure to recycle his old electronics and rechargeable batteries to help protect the environment. Our recent survey shows more than half of Americans (57%) possess old electronics needing disposal.
Check out these websites for more information:
Waukesha County: www.waukeshacounty.gov/recycling
If you need even more reasons to recycle your old cell phone, there is now a week dedicated to cell phone recycling. The second week in April is now here to remind you that all of the heavy metals in your phone don’t belong in a landfill. Check out Earth 911′s article for more information.
There has been so much going on in my busy little social life lately! I wanted to share some updates on what has been going on as well as promo a few events coming up. mK – here we go!
Ice Skating at the Petit Ice Center
What a fun event! It was great meeting so many people and getting a little time brush up on my ice skating skills as well!
Electronics Scrap Collection in Milwaukee
This event was very successful, collecting over 236,000 lbs. of electronic waste. Did you miss the event? Here are a couple of resources:
- Residents of Waukesha County can recycle their computers, free of charge, at several county collection sites. Visit Waukesha County’s website for more info.
- TV’s with screens less than 32″ can be taken to Best Buy. Recycling is free with the purchase of a $10 gift card. TV’s with screens over 32″ will need to be disposed of in other ways. If you are purchasing a replacement TV, the best option is to negotiate disposal of the old TV as a condition of the sale. Other options are available on our website.
- Cell phones can usually be recycled by the same stores that sell cell phones. (whew! say that 10 times fast!) Other local organizations, like The Women’s Center in Waukesha will also take them for donation.
- Want to do more? Currently there is pending legislation in Wisconsin that deals with electronics disposal. Learn more about the law and be sure to let your legislators know how you feel!
Lake Country Community Fest
Lake Country Community Fest was wonderful! It was so much fun to take so many pictures with everyone. It seemed like we talked to a million people and answered a lot of questions. We also gave away over 100 blue bins for curbside recycling. Did you miss us? There are a lot of local events coming up where you can get a blue curbside bin for free if you are in our program.
Did you participate? I beat the hubby in backgammon & scrabble. Now that’s what I call time well spent! For some fabulous pictures on how some major cities and monuments looked, click on the picture below.
Playing Soccer with the Milwaukee Wave
An After School Event is being held THIS THURSDAY, April 2nd, at the Waukesha Expo Center. Join us for a lot of fun from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
MRF Open House on Saturday, April 18th from 10 a.m. to Noon.
Oconomowoc Library will be hosting Recycle Raccoon at selected story hours the week of April 20th. More information is available at their website.
Greener Oconomowoc will be hosting it’s 2009 Resource Fair on April 25th. Visit their website to learn more.
Various programs are being presented through Waukesha city’s Park & Rec. Visit their website to learn more about the new ‘green’ programs.
Boy Scout Merit Badge Sessions will be available this summer for the Gardening Merit Badge & the Environmental Science Merit Badge. Stay tuned to the Boy Scout’s website for more information.
Sally Ride Education Program for Teachers and Waukesha County will be providing a training session for teachers this summer at the Waukehsa North Session. Specifically for 3rd – 8th grade teachers, participants will learn how to integrate natural resources into your curriculum in this fun week-long session that gets you out of the classroom and deep into learning! Scholarship opportunities are available for those who teach in Waukesha County.
Let’s talk some trash. The average Wisconsinitte creates over 4 1/2 lbs. of trash a day. This is what we put into landfills, and does not include all that we recycle. Despite the fact that we put so much stuff into landfills, most people know very little about them. So here we go: a little bit of info about landfills.
Where is the dump?
Nowhere. There are no dumps in Waukesha County, only landfills. This may seem like picky syntax, but there used to be dumps and now there are not so depending what you are getting rid of, you may have to go to a different location. Do you have something to trash? The first step is to make sure you can throw it in a landfill. According to Wisconsin state law the following items are banned from landfills.
- Lead acid batteries
- Major appliances
- Used motor oil
- Yard waste (Scroll down to ‘Item Questions’)
- Newspapers, magazines, courrugated cardboard, office paper and other recyclable paper
- Glass, aluminum, steel, tin, and plastic (#1 & #2) bottles and cans
Other items can be recycled, such as electronics and textiles. Some harmful substances like paint, chemicals, medical wastes, and antifreeze can also be disposed of in a more proper way than tossing it into a landfill.
If landfilling is the only option, check with your municipality to inquire about how much trash you can put out for curbside collection. Each municipality contracts (or allows their residents to contract) for trash service individually. They may or may not have included bulky items in their contract. If the municipality did not contract for large or bulky item trash pick-up, there may be a drop off site your community pays for, or you may have to call your hauler and arrange for a special pick up.
If you need to take your items to the landfill, there are 2 in Waukesha County. These are privately owned enterprises and you should contact the landfills for information about their fee schedule. Muskego (Emerald Park Landfill) — W124 S10629 S 124th St. — (414)529-1360. They are open Fridays & Saturdays. The other option is in Menomonee Falls (Orchard Ridge Landfill) — W124 N9355 Boundary Rd. –(262)253-8620. They are open Monday through Saturday.
They are going to charge me to throw it away?
Yes. Wisconsin has some of the cheapest disposal rates, but there is a cost to toss. Your contracted collection through your municipality is paid for by your community, some part of which you may see broken out on your tax bill. On average, it costs $35 a ton to throw something away in Wisconsin. This does not account for collection costs.
Isn’t a landfill just a hole in the ground?
While you can throw your TV in the trash, there are other options. TV’s contain many heavy metals, including lead and mercury. Check out Waukesha County’s TV recycling page to learn more about local disposal.
We will leave it to the professionals this week kids. To keep up with all the news I am looking at, follow me on Digg.com.
What is happening to your e-waste? Make sure whomever takes your waste is handling it properly. One certification is the ISO-14001 and another is from the International Association of Electronics Recyclers
Does your desktop weigh 18 tons? Not by the time it gets to you, but according to United Nations University in the Oct. 13th issue of Waste News, the average desktop PC uses 18 tons of raw materials and 480 lbs of fossil fuels to manufacture. Think a laptop is a more environmentally sound purchase? The average laptop takes 10 tons of raw materials. Your average old-school computer monitor (i.e. the ones everyone is now trying to get rid of) contains anywhere from 4 to 8 lbs. of lead.
So what is an eco-friendly person to do with all of this nasty-ness?
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
First step, look into what you are purchasing. Some computers are much more eco-friendly. This requires some homework, but is well worth it. A past article in the Christian Science Monitor addresses some places to look. Also. Think about the up-grade-ability (that word was specifically created for my computer tech husband who loves when I get all technical with my verbiage). Though larger, desktops with real live towers are WAY WAY WAY easier to upgrade than a laptop. Consider this while making a purchasing decision. I own a laptop because I was under the assumption when I bought it that I would be taking it to classes (I didn’t), studying at the library (where is that place again?), and probably blogging from the top of some mountain that I only got to the top of with great assistance from a llama (yeah…no.). Be realistic about your needs before you purchase an item.
Recycling options are available. In Waukesha County there is a free program for residents for computers and computer related components. If you are elsewhere in Wisconsin, check out www.RecycleMoreWisconsin.org in order to get information for your community on a wide variety of recycling issues.
Electronics beyond computers are not accepted in Waukesha County’s program. With February 2009 looming, many people will be faced with a little conundrum. To reduce waste, you may get a converter box that will allow you to keep your current television. The government has a website that answers a lot of questions about this type of converter. If you have decided to replace your current TV, don’t forget about the disposal costs associated with your old set. Due to all of the metals, some toxic, the most environmentally responsible thing to do is to recycle your TV. This can be done through several local recycling companies. Otherwise, you will have to pay a fee for your hauler to take the TV to a landfill. We recommend negotiating the recycling of your old TV or product with the store from which you purchase your new TV. Recently, legislation in the Wisconsin state legislature tried to make this policy required. Some companies are starting up end-of-life recycling programs for their electronics, so check with the company that made your TV or computer as well.
Last but not least, the EPA released new standards for electronic recycling programs last Friday. While this is just the first step, eventually this will become a certification program so that you know your electronics are being handled in an environmentally friendly way.
Just a quick FYI – there will be a free computer drop-off program at Miller Brewing, located just off West Highland Boulevard at 38th Street and High Life Place.
If you live in Waukesha County and can not make it to this one time event, sleep easy. With proof of residency you may drop off your computer and computer components at:
- City of Waukesha Recycling Drop-off Site (900 Sentry Drive; Saturdays 8-4 & Wed. 11-7)
- City of Brookfield Highway Department (19450 Riverview Dr; Saturdays 8-5 & Tues/Thurs 1-7)
- New Berlin Recycle Center (3711 S Casper Dr; Saturdays 8-4 & Tues/Thrus 10-7)
So this past Saturday was Earth Hour. This event, which is to highlight the world’s energy usage, encourages people to shut off their lights from 8 until 9 pm. My husband, who works on computers for a living and has a wii remote surgically attached to his hand tried to convince me that under the rules of this gig, we could still play a game of Mario Party, as long as it was in the dark. I said he was missing the point.
According to the Bureau of Land Management, American’s energy use has went up 20% in the last 10 years. In 2002, every person in the US used 1 million Btu’s every day! Energy is most often created by burning fossil fuels, using these valuable resources up as well as spewing harmful GHG’s into the atmosphere. There are plenty of great suggestions on how to curb your energy appetite.
· Replace regular incandescent light bulbs w/ Compact Florescent light bulbs. Note the difference in wattage. My ‘friend’ accidentally purchased three 23 watt CFL’s (which are equivalent to 100 watt incandescent bulbs) and put them in a ceiling fixture. I think I could have tanned in my, er… her living room.
· Make sure you use rechargeable batteries for products. To extend their life, make sure you fully charge them every time.
· Keeping the clock powered on your DVD player takes energy! Don’t let phantom lights (i.e. the little red light on your DVD player letting you know that your DVD player is off or the clocks on coffee makers and other electronics) on your electronics waste your power. Plug electronics into a power strip and when your not using the devices, unplug the power cord. This can reduce your bill up to 5%!
· Know how to properly dispose of your e-waste. There are both valuable and dangerous things inside your ipod, DVD player, computer, etc. In Waukesha there are several locations to responsibly dispose of your electronics. Some are free while others cost a little money. There is a growing push for manufactures to share responsibility in Wisconsin for electronics disposal. Call your state representative to let them know how you feel!
Figure out how much energy your electronics cost you with the calculator at http://www.mygreenelectronics.org
Also, remember, one of the easiest ways to save energy is to recycle. Recycling 1 aluminum can saves enough energy to power a light bulb for 4 hours!
Earth Hour was a great way to reflect on how to reduce the amount of energy we use. As an added bonus, the hubby and I had a good time playing cribbage (I won, of course) and spending time with each other with out all of the crazy distractions electronics allow. I guess now the trick is to make Earth Hour last more than 60 minutes.