Electronics recycling options here in Lawrence

Electronics recycling is a question we frequently get calls and emails about. We’re listed with the City of Lawrence as an electronics recycler. Electronics recycling is something I believe in passionately.

The items you throw away today will be part of our environment tomorrow. As we know, the earth is an ecosystem and what we put in the ground, well, becomes part of the ground. Maybe I’m a bit selfish, but I really don’t want to be eating your hard drive or ink cartridge as part of my next meal!

Fortunately, the next Lawrence Electronics Recycling Event is May 14th. They’ll take about anything, but if you miss that day, other options exist.

The company we generally use is Asset LifeCycle in Topeka. Until recently they were part of the city’s twice a year recycling event. Extreme recycling is now working with the city on that project, but the city confirms it wasn’t due to any problems with Asset, but rather a lower bid. Since I’ve been happy with the response and service we’ve gotten from Asset, I’ll continue to use them.

They don’t charge for recycling, save for a few items. Monitors (including those part of laptop computers) cost $5.00 to recycle due to the many numerous hazardous materials in them. “Certified” destruction of hard drives also costs $5.00. Certified destruction actually provides a certificate to a third party that the data was properly destroyed. Most customers don’t need this. Asset Lifecyle guarantees the hard drives we drop off are properly destroyed and the $5.00 is simply the handling charge in order to provide said proof of destruction.

While we don’t mind at all recycling your items, whenever possible we like customers to directly recycle with the manufacturer. They produce the items and have a moral and ethical duty to reclaim and use their materials when at end of life.

Apple, Dell and others will allow you to recycle an older computer at no or little charge after purchase of a new computer. In fact, Dell has started an innovative and exciting program all of us can take advantage of. Through the Dell “ReConnect” program, you can drop off almost any computer part at the local Goodwill center and there is no charge for recycling (including monitors). However, they will not take responsibility for destruction of hard drives, so be sure to give this those to us, Asset Lifecycle, or drop it off at the Lawrence Electronics Recycling event. Goodwill will try to reuse the computers for charitable purposes. Whenever possible, we too try to do that and have donated refurbished computers to various non-profits and needy situations.

If you don’t work directly with the manufacturer or with a program supported by the KDHE, they may not be ethically recycling it. Always check out the place you drop off your items with. In some terrible scenarios, we’ve seen places reselling the very equipment dropped off for recycling. Talk about a conflict of interest! That’s one reason we don’t sell new or used computers, just to avoid such situations.

Whatever you do, please don’t throw these items in the trash. My dinner plate, and yours, will thank you.

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