City hosts electronics recycling day
By Tara Nelson
The city of Blaine has sponsored an electronics recycling drop-off station from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 5 at the Blaine high school parking lot.
Local residents can drop off stereo equipment, batteries, cords, DVD players, laptops, cell phones and other electronics at no cost. Materials collected at the event will be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally-sound way by newly formed Bellingham for-profit business Safe & Easy Electronics Recycling. The company will charge a small fee for television sets and computer monitors because of the cost of recycling hazardous materials such as mercury, lead, beryllium and cadmium. Television recycling fees range in price by size from $5 to $15 and monitors range in price by size from $5 to $20. Their website is www.safeandeasyrecycling.com.
Other recycling opportunities
• Sanitary Service Company (SSC), Whatcom County’s largest recycling and garbage collection company, also accepts electronic products to the list of items it will accept for recycling.
A curbside pick-up option for collection of oversize electronic items is available to all SSC customers. Non-customers, meanwhile, can drop off their electronic waste during regular business hours at SSC’s Bellingham Transfer Station located at 1001 Roeder Avenue.
Collection fees depend on the type of electronic product being recycled and range in price from $6 to $31. For more information, visit www.ssc-inc.com or call 360/ 734-3490.
• Electronic equipment may contain lead, mercury, cadmium and brominated flame retardants. If disposed of improperly, these toxic chemicals may end up in the environment and pose a health hazard.
• Studies estimate that 315 to 600 million desktop and laptop computers in the U.S. will soon be obsolete. One of those reports estimates that a pile of these computers would reach a mile high and cover six acres, or a 22-story pile covering the entire 472-square mile radius of Los Angeles.
• Cell phones contain hazardous materials such as antimony, cadmium, arsenic, lead and beryllium and should never be thrown in the trash. Users should call their cellular service provider about take-back information or visit the website of the Basal Action Network, a non-profit organization that advocates safe disposal of e-waste. Their website is www.ban.org.
• The Washington state legislature recently approved a bill mandating electronics manufacturers state-wide provide a safe and environmentally-sound system for collection, transportation and recycling of covered electronics throughout. For more information about local recycling services, call the Whatcom County Recycling hotline at 676-5723.