Electronics recycling helps save the world


Wayne Green Team

Wayne held a citywide recycling event last week, accepting all kinds of electronics.

Rachel Knox, Staff Writer

The Wayne Green Team hosted its fifth annual electronics recycling event on Saturday, Sept. 23.

“Our annual electronics recycling event continues to be a success and shows our community’s commitment to keeping harmful substances out of the landfill,” said Sandy Brown, chair of the Wayne Green Team.

An estimated 130 households and several businesses brought their old TVs, computers, phones, printers, cords and more for recycling during the three-hour event held outside of Wayne City Hall. One 30-foot
truck was double-stacked with pallets of electronics, and two remaining pallets of TVs and computers that could not fit inside the truck are scheduled to be picked up soon.

An estimated 64 tube TVs and 19 tube monitors were recycled. The event began at 7 a.m. and lasted until 11 a.m. Cars were lined up as early as 7 a.m. to drop off items to be recycled.

The items were picked up by Nebraska Recycles, a recycling service company based out of Lincoln.

“They destroy hard drives and memory containing devices and break apart items for separate material recycling,” Brown said.

TVs and monitors that contain cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, hold hazardous substances such as mercury, lead and phosphorus. A standard CRT monitor can contain up to 8 pounds of lead, while the mercury amount is smaller but just as harmful.

When these items are thrown in the landfill, they get broken, which causes leaching into the soil and groundwater when it rains. Nebraska Recycles de-manufactures a portion of the CRTs at its facility and sends the remaining hazardous glass portion to an EPA-approved facility for further processing.

Funding for this event came from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Waste Reduction & Recycling Incentive Grant.

Community members participating were encouraged to make a donation of $10 per carload or $50 per business load of reasonable size, and were charged fees for CRTs of $5 per monitor and $10 per TV. There was an additional fee of $10 per microwave. All fees and donations help support City of Wayne community programs focused on waste reduction as part of the community’s overall zero waste strategy.

The community of Wayne has come to rely on this event held each fall. Last year, 16,000 pounds of electronics were recycled. From 2013 to 2016, nearly 33 tons of electronics were recycled. Final numbers for this year’s event are still being tallied.

“I’m proud of the efforts the people of Wayne make in protecting our environment,” Brown said.

Support came from volunteers of the Wayne State College men’s basketball team and the Wayne Green Team, with assistance from the City of Wayne and Wayne Police Department.

For more info about the green path to the good life, like the Wayne Green Team on Facebook or visit www.cityofwayne.org/greenteam.