Archive for Thursday, February 14, 2008

E-recycling options worth extra effort

February 14, 2008

A discarded computer monitor or television (it's hard to identify in its current condition) can be seen in a ditch in De Soto's West Bottoms. A used computer, once the pride of someone's desk, rests on a creek bank north of Eudora near a Douglas County bridge. Both contain heavy metals such as lead, chromium, cadmium, mercury, beryllium, nickel and zinc that are leaking into the soil not far from the Kansas River

Those same toxic chemicals or elements make electronic unwelcome in our rapidly filling landfills. But that does not mean owners are stuck with used electronic gadgets.

There are opportunities to recycle our used computers and computer equipment in such a way that they can be useful to others, who perhaps can't afford state-of-the-art

technology.

Non-profit organizations that provide that service are Entrust Computers (entrustus.org) and Surplus Exchange, (816) 472-0444. In addition, Goodwill Industries will accept most used electronics at its various locations.

We pay dearly for technology, and that creates a tendency to hold on to items long after we've updated. Donations made before equipment becomes hopelessly outdated can help low-income families and individuals while ridding homes of unused electronics that will eventually have to be discarded.

Purchasing electronics carries with it the responsibility to dispose of them properly. It may take a little more effort, but it's comforting to know there are ways of doing so that benefit others.

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