Central Peninsula residents are invited to recycle their electronics of all shapes and sizes this Saturday at the annual electronics recycling event.
From 10 a.m. to 3 pm. on Saturday, May 4, ReGroup Recycling, Cook InletKeeper, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Department and the Weaver Brothers will be sponsoring the annual recycling event at the Central Peninsula Landfill in Soldotna.
“Electronics recycling happens once a year because the organizational part is quite extensive,” said ReGroup member Jan Wallace.
Once all the electronics are collected, they need to be transported to Anchorage where they are distributed to different facilities that will make use of the parts in different ways.
“The plastic cases are usually broken down and go to manufacturers that chip them and use them in different products,” Wallace said. “All of the wiring has metals, which are the valuable part. All of those rare earth metals would be pollutants if they got into the environment and water systems, but in our electronics they are valuable.”
To ease logistics, the Homer and Ninilchik electronics recycling events will also be Saturday. The trucks will haul the items up from Homer, stopping at Ninilchik and Soldotna before heading up to Anchorage.
“The borough is being very supportive of all of this material getting in the recycling stream instead of the landfill,” Wallace said.
Acceptable items include cameras, clocks, electronic scales, handheld games, stereos, TVs, vacuums, VCR/DVD players, computers, laptops, monitors, cell/telephones, servers, routers, fax machines, copiers, credit card machines, printers, scanners.
Audio and visual tapes, batteries, CDs and DVDs, exit signs, fire extinguishers, fluorescent lights and smoke detectors are not accepted.
“They are either hazardous or there is no market for them,” Wallace said, but there is a disposal facility for batteries at the landfill.
For larger items, like televisions and computer monitors, there is a $15 fee.
“The extra charge is for their weight and the processing,” Wallace said. “The glass is impregnated with lead or other things. Everything else is taken for free because there are valuable things in them that allow the recycling entities to stay in business.”
Wallace said that, on average, 80 to 100 households participate in the recycling event annually. Last year, she said, they collected nearly 17,000 pounds in electronics.
“Year after year it depends, though. Some years we’ll get tons of huge TVs while other years we’ll just have small electronics,” she said.
Wallace recommends that neighborhoods or family pool all their electronics together so that they only need to make one trip to the landfill between 10 and 3 p.m.
For general questions, call the Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Department at 907-262-9667.