ondering what to do with the old computer or TV you discovered while cleaning out this spring and summer? You are not alone as it is estimated that approximately 400 million units of consumer electronics are “retired” each year. Hopefully, this retirement is accomplished in a responsible manner and not left on the roadside or casually tossed into the trash.
The Cayuga Recycles partners are again offering their fall recycling events starting tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 29, with a free Freon Collection and Recycling Event, followed by electronics on Sept. 26 and concluding Oct. 17 with Household Hazardous Waste. Pre-registration is required to participate in all of these events as a precaution against COVID-19. More information and pre-registration can be found on Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County’s website under the Upcoming Events tab. Those without access to a computer can call (315) 255-1183 ext. 238 for assistance. Once registered for a time slot, you will receive notification of the event’s location.
The free Freon Collection Recycling Event will run from 9 a.m. to noon and there are some time slots still available, but hurry as registration will close Friday evening! Only appliances containing Freon will be accepted.
Freon is a general term used when referring to chlorofluorocarbons used as a refrigerant in appliances. It is colorless, odorless, non-flammable, and non-corrosive but is a known contributor to the depletion of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere.
Fortunately, the contractor accepting these items captures the Freon for recycling. Typical appliances containing Freon include window and portable air conditioners, dehumidifiers, dorm size refrigerators and other cooling appliances such as wine and beer coolers. The event will accept all Freon containing appliances as long as they are under 40 pounds in weight.
Please save any obsolete or broken electronics such as TVs, microwaves, computers, computer monitors, fax machines, copiers, stereo and audio equipment, personal digital assistants, game consoles, cell phones and all the cords that go with each device. These items are referred to as e-waste and will be responsibly recycled during the Sept. 26 event. Pre-registration will also be required and will be handled by CCE Cayuga County on their website.
There are many benefits to recycling your unwanted electronics, also referred to as e-waste. You will keep potentially hazardous materials out of the waste stream that can end up in landfills while conserving natural resources such as water and raw minerals mined from the ground; plus avoid air and water pollution associated with the mining of raw materials. Additionally, there are connections in all steps to greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.
Various sources indicate that approximately 25% of the generated e-waste is properly recycled with the remaining 75% going to landfills or being incinerated. When old style picture tube monitors and TVs are improperly disposed, toxic materials can cause a problem for the environment. For over a decade, Cayuga County has offered a fall electronics recycling event for county residents to responsibly dispose of their accumulated e-waste.
Do you have household hazardous chemicals and are wondering what to do with them? Cayuga County residents can responsibly dispose of them on Oct. 17, but pre-registration is required. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County’s website will host the registration and it will be found under the Upcoming Events tab; while not ready yet, keep checking to reserve the time slot you want.
Cayuga Recycles during the past 24 years have offered over 65 collection events. These events have collected over 87,000 tires resulting in reducing mosquito breeding habitat and fire hazards and over 1.2 million pounds of electronic equipment and hundreds of drums of chemicals safely eliminating lead, cadmium, mercury and other toxins from homes, farms, schools and workplaces in the county. The removal of household hazardous chemicals from these locations for safe disposal has kept them from filling our landfills and if not properly handled could threaten human health and the environment.
More information about Solid Waste Management and Recycling can be found on the county website. Information about the upcoming Electronics Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste collection events will be coming in future Eco Talk columns or you can call CCE Cayuga County at (315) 255-1183 ext. 238. Remember improper disposal of electronics and household chemicals can impact the environment and water quality for you, your neighbors and for future generations as well. Please do you part to keep everyone and the environment safe.