Douglas County residents will have the opportunity to recycle virtually any electronics next month during a spring e-cleaning dropoff event.
Lawrence-Douglas County Sustainability is offering the service April 2 in partnership with Teknix Solutions, a Manhattan-based electronics recycling company. Volunteers will be on hand to retrieve items from vehicles in a drive-thru event on KU’s West Campus.
“It’s a good way to get rid of your electronics in an environmentally friendly way,” said Kim Criner Ritchie, interim Douglas County sustainability director.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 25 states have enacted laws regulating disposal of electronic waste. Kansas is not among them.
Teknix Solutions reports that nearly 98% of the materials they receive can be kept out of landfills. Items are sorted and dismantled into base components, which are recycled or reused in refurbished devices. Other parts are sold and sometimes further broken down to retrieve precious metals.
“There are valuable materials contained in those devices,” Criner Ritchie said. “There can also be harmful materials. The more harmful things we can keep out of the environment, the better.”
Recycling is free for most items. Cathode-ray tube (CRT) TVs will be accepted for a fee based on size: 19 inches or smaller will cost $20; 20 inches and larger are $40. Fees for recycling CRT TVs must be paid in cash.
Criner Ritchie said there was no limit to the amount of materials that could be brought to the event. Household alkaline batteries will not be accepted at the event, but Lawrence residents can make an appointment to take them to Household Hazardous Waste. Rechargeable batteries are acceptable.
Acceptable items include anything with a cord or battery, including but not limited to:
- Computers, laptops, monitors, speakers, keyboards, mice, servers
- Microwaves, TVs, gaming systems
- Light fixtures and non-PCB ballasts
- Stereos, radios, phones, audio/visual equipment
- Lab equipment, cables, battery backup systems,
- Other small appliances
- CDs, VHS and cassette tapes
Items that are not acceptable include:
- Fire alarms, smoke detectors, thermometers
- Light bulbs, PCB ballasts
- Alkaline batteries (Lawrence residents can take these items to Household Hazardous Waste)
- Chemicals of any kind
- Tires, furniture
- Large appliances or devices containing Freon
According to the company’s website, Teknix Solutions has certified equipment handlers who “take every precaution to guarantee data has been eliminated before further processing.” Equipment is securely destroyed or wiped clean using NIST SP 800-88 standards.
Criner Ritchie said the county doesn’t accept electronics in curbside services because they need specialized recycling by an outside vendor. Collecting items would require space and staff to ensure safe storage until they could be delivered to a service provider. She said the periodic events with Teknix Solutions offer the community an accountable alternative.
“They are certified so we know where their recycling ends up,” she said. “It’s considered a safe and responsible trail for recycling electronics. This is the best formula we’ve come up with to help people and not burden our solid waste department.”
Past years have seen more than 1,700 vehicles come through and have yielded more than 155,000 pounds of material. More information can be found on the Electronics Recycling website.
Volunteers are needed for two shifts, 7:45 to 11:45 a.m. or 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided for both shifts. Click here to learn more or to sign up. For questions, contact Jamie Hofling, food waste reduction specialist, at email@example.com or 785-330-3017.
The event is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at KU’s Lot 301, which is just northwest of the intersection of Clinton Parkway and Iowa Street. The lot can be accessed by heading west on 21st Street from Iowa or north on Crestline Drive from Clinton Parkway. Vehicles that arrive after 1 p.m. will not be able to enter the event.
Masks are encouraged, but will not be required at the event. Attendees are asked to stay inside vehicles for safety and to minimize contact with volunteers who will unload recyclables.