Recycling event proves it’s no waste

MARIETTA – Like a well-oiled assembly line, a steady stream of cars drove into the Washington County Garage Tuesday, piled high with large televisions and old computers, and left the lot minutes later without their bulky electronic burdens.

Sponsored by the Southeastern Ohio Joint Solid Waste Management District, the county’s annual electronics take back day is always a huge draw. This year’s event started Monday and wraps up today. And judging by the first day alone, this year’s event is shaping up to be another huge success.

“I couldn’t even tell you how many people we had through (Monday),” said Rob Reiter, coordinator for the solid waste district.

There were enough electronics to fill two of the 53-foot rail trailers Monday, he added. Within 15 minutes of opening the gates Tuesday another dozen cars had been through the line.

Many of those dropping off electronics do not even hop out of their car thanks to a team of volunteers who swoop in, collect the unwanted items and send the driver on his or her way. As always, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office provided help from employees and inmates, said Reiter.

The event is much appreciated by residents, who said they see it as a free and responsible way to get rid of old electronics.

“It’s very convenient to be able to come out and drop off everything at once and you know it’s going to be recycled and put to good use,” said Oak Grove resident Curt Nichols, 65.

All of the electronics collected are sent to a Texas facility which recycles everything except the wooden casing on some televisions, said Reiter.

The timing of the event could not have been better for Warren Township resident Randy Mills, who is weeks away from moving to South Carolina to enjoy his retirement.

“This was perfect timing. I had two extra heavy, extra large TVs to get rid of and this happened at just the right time,” he said.

The event cost much less to put on this year thanks to a donation of thousands of sturdy containers from Colgate Palmolive, said Reiter. Typically the solid waste district has to buy around $8,000 worth of cardboard boxes to help store and transport the electronics, he said.

There are a handful of rules for the collection. First, it is only for residents inside the waste district, which covers Washington, Monroe, Noble, Morgan, Muskingum and Guernsey counties.

Reiter also reminds residents that the collection is only for electronics, such as televisions, computers, printers and DVD players. Appliances such as microwaves, air conditioners, and refrigerators will not be accepted. Also residents should drop off electronics during the actual event and not leave electronics outside of the gate before or after these times.

The waste district will be sponsoring one final electronics collection event in McConnelsville Aug. 11 and 12.

The final collection day in Marietta is today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Washington County Garage at 1405 Colegate Drive.