Tons of electronic equipment were lifted, stacked and packed at Saturday’s Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful “Go Green” event. Area residents took the opportunity to have their old-style televisions and other electronic equipment recycled with no harm to the environment.
ALBANY — While those heavy, old-style televisions may have entertained for many hours, each one also may contain as much as eight pounds of lead — and even some mercury, according to Julia Bowles, executive director of Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful.
Considering that those metals are among the most toxic of substances, it’s common sense to provide for their sensible disposal.
KADB’s annual “Go Green” event, held in the back parking lot of the Albany Civic Center Saturday, was an opportunity for people to safely dispose of their old electronic equipment, their outdated or useless medications and to shred to 10 boxes of personal documents. Because of costs to the organization, a $10 “hazardous material removal fee” was charged to recycle each TV.
“Each of these TVs and computer monitors contains up to eight pounds of lead embedded in the glass,” said David Loxsom, of Atlanta Recycling Solutions, which will recycle the electronics equipment. “If you put them out for garbage pickup, they go to the landfill, where the glass gets run over and crushed. Where does the lead go? Right into the water table.”
Loxsom said that hard drives accepted for recycling are shredded, making it impossible for data to be recovered.
For the third straight year, Go Green has included Operation Pill Drop, which Bowles said is an opportunity for residents to dispose of any outdated or unneeded medications and to protect drinking water at the same time. The medicines are accepted in their containers with “no questions asked” and are incinerated.
“Sometimes your doctor prescribes medicine that doesn’t work and you have some left,” Bowles said. “You don’t want to hold on to it if you have children around, but you should never flush any medication. Our water system will take care of some of it, but it’s really not set up to filter out drugs.”
According to KADB sources, if you missed the Go Green event but have medications to dispose of, you should pulverize the pills, return them to a child-proof container, then place the container in sealable plastic before throwing it away. Liquid medications should be poured in a plastic sealable bag containing kitty litter, coffee grounds or sawdust before disposal with household trash.
ShredEx was on hand to safely shred up to 10 boxes of personal documents at no charge. According to Bowles, shredding rather than throwing documents into a dumpster can help prevent identity theft.
When the 2012 Go Green event had finished, Operation Pill Drop had collected 167 pounds of medications, or an estimated 149,000 pills, according to Bowles. While the total weight of electronic equipment collected won’t be immediately known, Bowles said 700 vehicles were counted at the event, compared with 560 last year.
Those who missed the event and who want to turn in a TV for proper disposal can do so at 2106 Haversham Road. Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful can be contacted at (229) 430-5257.