Big Results from Electronics Recycling Day on 10/22

If you dropped off electronics to be recycled on October 22 in Beacon, you were part of the group that responsibly recycled 36,705 pounds of electronics.

This whopping 47 pallets of stuff included 13 pallets (over 11,000 pounds) of televisions,  8 pallets of appliances and 7 pallets of monitors. Where did it all go? To WeRecycle in Mount Vernon - a high-tech, automated facility that processes the electronics for recycling. Here's some photos and facts from my tour.

First, the material goes to their nearby facility for manual breakdown, where the electronics are partially dismantled by hand to make the next step more efficient. For example, plastic and wooden casings are removed from televisions. Next, the material is sent to their newly renovated and heavily automated facility employing state-of-the-art processing technology.  The goal of the operation is maximize the value of scrap electronics. On an average day, the facility processes 300 pallets of electronics and turns them into organized boxes of commodities, ready to be recycled. With their new expansion, there are 2 shifts running throughout the day, which maximizes productivity in this busy place. The next phase of the expansion will allow 3 continuous shifts to run each day, for a maximum of 24 hours of operation.

Before I began the tour they made sure I was geared up to the max, with the proper industrial safety equipment.  I was in a hardhat, goggles, earplugs, steel toe covers, and safety vest.  As soon as we started the tour I was overwhelmed with how enormous and high-tech the operation was.  Conveyor belts sent metals through magnets to separate ferrous from non-ferrous.  Other conveyor belts sent plastics through separating a machine with fans to blow lighter plastics away from heavier plastics.

Blower fans push the light plastics and allow the heavy plastics to drop below.
  Most powerful of all was the machine that crunched up circuit boards, turning them into small pieces.

Giant woven plastic supersacs are filled with materials of all types and sit labeled and ready to be shipped.

And where do they go? Metals are sold to a local scrap yard, and from there sent to mills, recyclers and smelters. The plastics are exported for processing, separated by being either light or dark/mixed resin plastic. The fragments are processed by a smelter in Europe. More can be read about their process here.

The standards used by WeRecycle are stringent - they're one of the very few E-Stewards certified handlers in the Northeast. This certification prohibits the export of toxic e-waste to developing nations, as many rich industrialized  nations have been doing in recent years. This certification came from the 1989 Basel Convention, " a United Nations treaty which was designed to prevent the global dumping of toxic waste on developing countries from more developed countries." Because the US is the only developed country that has failed to ratify the Basel Convention, it's important that we make sure we know where electronics we recycle are actually going. Again, from the e-Stewards website, "Without appropriate national and international legislation or enforcement in place in many regions, it is unfortunately left up to individual citizens, corporations, universities, cities – all of us – to figure out how to prevent the toxic materials in electronics from continuing to cause long term harm to human health and the environment, particularly in countries with developing economies."

Make sure to ask questions when you drop off your unwanted/not working electronics, and always try to reuse first. For a list of where to reuse and recycle electronics in the Hudson Valley, please see http://www.zerotogo.org/p/reduce-reuse-recycle.html.


Holiday Stop N' Swap at School of Jellyfish, 12/1

December 1, 11:30 am-3:00pm at School of Jellyfish, 183 Main Street Beacon
Bring your wrapping paper, holiday cards, seasonal decor and craft supplies to swap! This is a perfect opportunity to pass along your old holiday stuff and find new holiday favorites. FREE! Sponsored by BACA, School of Jellyfish and Vanguard Energy.


What should I bring to the Holiday Stop 'N' Swap?
Bring yourself! Bring family and friends. Definitely bring a tote bag or two for items you want to take home. Examples of items that can be swapped: wrapping paper, cards (especially!), craft supplies such as ribbon, felt, wire, ornament hangers etc, ornaments, garland.

What shouldn't I bring to the Holiday Stop 'N' Swap?
Please use your best judgement and do not bring anything that is dirty, torn or moldy that can not be salvaged. *No fake christmas trees unless they are in good condition.* That said, if you have an item that could be upcycled but you just haven't figured out quite how to do it, bring it. Perhaps it will inspire someone else.
How much does it cost to attend?
Free of charge and all items are available for the taking on a first come, first served basis.
Will I have to wait for people to take my items?No. Arrive and put your items out for others to take. You are free to pick up items that you can use. There is no exchange based on how much or how little you bring, or the relative expense of the items. 
What happens to items leftover after the event?
Anything left at the end of the day will be sorted and recycled or donated for reuse as much as possible.
Can I drop items off before the event?
Items are only accepted during the event. We encourage you to drop off near the start to better ensure your items find a new home and ask that you bring giveaways no later than an hour before the end of the event to ensure time for them to find new homes. In fact, There are plenty of shops and eateries in Beacon that would love your patronage while you wait for the swap to fill up!


Recycle Electronics this weekend in Kingston

Free Electronics Recycling in Kingston, NY

BUSINESSES Friday 11/18/11 and HOUSEHOLDS Saturday 11/19/11


The Mac Works and the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring this weekend's electronics recycling event.

Items accepted are computers, servers, monitors, printers, keyboard, VCR's, batteries, cell phones, terminals, cables, wires, power supplies, fax machines, radios, modems, CRT monitors corded and cordless telephones, TV's, CPU's, scanners; cassette, CD, DVD players; typewriters, stereo equipment & more. We unload the vehicle for you!  Registration is required for Businesses, School Districts & Government Agencies.

No additional paperwork is required and there is no charge for any items, including TV's and monitors. WeRecycle! has a simplified process that is in compliance with all laws, and is e-Stewards certified.

Let us know if your organization is bringing a truckload or more of electronics so our recyclers can expect you and we can expedite the drop-off process. Email support@themacworks.com or call 845-331-1111.  To register call the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce at 845-338-5100 or click here to register.

Thanks to partners We Recycle, Ryan & Ryan Insurance, Deegan Development Group, Wells Fargo Advisors, and the Ulster County Development Corp. A special thanks to Sustainable Hudson Valley for their instrumental role in helping launch this event.