Electronic recycling in Yuma
Electronic recycling is now available for residents living within the city of Yuma.
The City of Yuma and Electronics Recycling International (ERI), which has a facility in Aurora, entered into an agreement recently. ERI has set up its “totes” at the city’s recycling center located behind the Yuma Ambulance Service building on Second Ave. (The white containers found inside the recycling building are for the electronics, nothing else; one was nearly full with two-liter plastic bottles earlier this week.)
Five of the 12 totes already are full, in part due to city crews going around town and collecting all the electronics that residents have left in their alleys through the years. City Manager Scott Moore said there was a significant amount sitting outside.
Dumping electronics was made illegal several years ago. Yuma County received a waiver from the state for several years, and Encore Life out of Wray received a grant to provide electronic recycling for awhile. However, the waiver finally ran out, as did the grant to Encore Life, leaving local governments figuring out how to properly dispose of the wide range of electronics.
The city of Yuma eventually settled on ERI for the residents of Yuma. Instead of charging residents per electronic device, which can be costly, the city chose to provide the service and foot the bill itself.
“What I’m worried about is electronics…in our streets, alleys, and ditches out in the country because that’s where they get dumped,” Moore said. “Or they go into the trash containers, and if we don’t catch it, they then go into the landfill, which is not environmentally friendly.”
The city initially negotiated a price of 35 cents per pound for all electronics.
However, ERI then came back with the proposal that it would lower the price on some electronics if they were sorted. Moore said the city was not particularly interested because it would require more manpower. However, he said he then thought of the Kelandy Center, which provides work for developmentally disabled adults through a variety of projects, such as offering aluminum recycling to the public, the making of trophies and other items.
Moore took John Meier of ERI to the Kelandy Center to see if the facility would provide the sorting service, and received a favorable response.
Therefore, ERI agreed to different prices for five different types of electronic recyclables:
• 35 cents per pound for CRTs (Cathode Ray Tubes);
• 25 cents for flat panel TVs;
• 35 cents for rear projection TVs;
• 10 cents for computers, and;
• 22 cents for “end of life” electronics, such as cell phones, microwaves and more.
The city still will pay 35 cents per pound for electronics, and Kelandy Center will receive the balance for its sorting services — 10 cents per proud for flat panel TVs, 25 cents for computers and 13 cents for “end of life” electronics.
“We know our electronics go to the right place, and they are recycled correctly,” Moore said. “And the city gets electronics out of the alley, streets, ditches, trash cans and landfill.”
The expenditure will come out of the Sanitation Department budget. Moore said it is estimated a town the size of Yuma will generate about 10,000 pounds of electronic recyclables in a year, which amounts to $3,500.
Meier will train the Kelandy Center crew on how to do the sorting. He said ERI will come out with its trucks when all 12 “totes” are full, and the electronics sorted. The load will be transported to the ERI site in Aurora, dismantle the electronics and will be put through the ERI shredder.
“It’s a one-stop solution,” Meier said. “We are able to process all e-waste in-house.”
He noted that the first thing with computers, cell phones and any other electronic that might hold personal information is all data is wiped out and destroyed.
Meier said ERI has several certifications as it upholds all federal and international industry laws.
So if you have an old TV, computer, cell phone, microwave, printers, any electronic, take it to the drop-off site
The service is for the residents of Yuma, since the utility customers are picking up the tab. Moore admitted that non-city residents might take advantage of it, and if it gets to be a problem steps could be taken to curb it, such as installing security cameras.
However, he said the bottom line is getting the electronics recycled properly.