Electronics Recycling: New Options in Harrisonburg & Rockingham

Thanh -- March 15th, 2007

The City of Harrisonburg has just made an annoucement:

News Release

For the past several years, the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County with the help of James Madison University have held an electronics recycling collection. This event was held once a year and for a small fee, city/county residents and businesses could drop off unwanted electronics. We are now aware that these materials are accepted by Goodwill Industries, Crutchfield and some other outlets. The City/County/JMU event will no longer be needed because these materials are accepted throughout the year, thus offering more convenient disposal opportunities. Anyone wishing to safely dispose of this material should check to ensure that their specific item/items are being accepted at that location, applicable disposal charges and hours of operation.

– City of Harrisonburg, Public Works Department

This is particularly good for the environment and public health. (Electronics often have numerous toxic metals and materials, etc in them that are not good in the trash, landfill, Resource Recovery Facility, etc.) “Hazardous materials including lead, mercury, cadium, and chromium are all present in electronic devices and lead to to pollution when not disposed of properly. Computer monitors and television screens using cathode ray tubes are of significant concern as they contain an average of four pounds of lead. The leading source of mercury in municipal waste systems has also been found to be from electronics.”

For more information on electronic recycling visit the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Computer and Electronics Recycling page at: www.deq.state.va.us/ecycling/homepage.html

For more information on City of Harrisonburg’s Solid Waste & Recycling Programs call Public Works at (540) 434-5928 or visit here. The City has recently produced a DVD called “Your Trash” which they are working on posting online for public viewing. A limited number of copies are also available to organizations and educators. Just call Public Works.

On a related note, the City of Harrisonburg & Rockingham County also hold an annual Household Hazardous Collection Day where you can bring unwanted household chemicals for proper disposal. Its not a good idea to dump chemicals down the drain or into the street because it will end up in local waterbodies and drinking water supplies.

– Thanh

17 Responses to “Electronics Recycling: New Options in Harrisonburg & Rockingham”

  1. bell says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it sounds like all this news release is saying is that the city will no longer contribute to this because they just “found out” that someone else in town was already doing it. I know for a fact that Crutchfield has been doing this for at least a couple of years. I had some old monitors to dispose of here at work and Crutchfield told me they would take them for the low price of $10 each. Although I will say at least this may make a few more people aware of their options. E-waste is becoming a really big problem in the world.

  2. Barnabas says:

    Can someone direct me to the proper place to find the harrisonburg city laws about fouling. My neighbors greyhound keeps using my yard and it’s pissin’ me off.

  3. finnegan says:

    Yeah, I bell, I remember reporting on the Crutchfield thing last August.

    I’m pretty sure the city charged money to take it, too.

  4. Thanh says:

    To give you a brief background on this change and why it has happened… Computer of Recycling of Virginia (http://www.recycle4va.org/) is the company that the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County had been paying to come take electronics for proper recycling. They have all worked together since 2004 on holding annual collection days. The company, Computer Recycling of Virginia, found that it has been very cost effective and beneficial to the community for them to partner with Goodwill Industries (a benefit to both groups). They started a partnership in the northern parts of the Valley and it has been successful. Computer Recycling of Virginia then moved forward to start a partnership with Goodwill Industries here in this part of the Valley (including Harrisonburg) providing the option to community members to drop of electronics any time of year (instead of only annually). The City got involved and through meetings with Computer Recycling of Virginia and Goodwill Industries, it was decided that an annual collection day would not be necessary and at the very least is a waste of resources (Computer Recycling of Virginia has to trek to Harrisonburg from Tappahannok, Virginia with staff to collect materials). Anyway, the City also hopes that more people will recycle with an option to drop their recyclables off any time of year. Unfortunately, when the event was only held once a year, many people just dumped their unwanted electronics in the trash because they didn’t want to store them until May. I hope this information is helpful. Please continue to ask questions… Thanks.

  5. bell says:

    Thanks, clarifying Thanh. I actually wasn’t aware of the deal with Goodwill until reading this.

  6. David Troyer says:

    I have a lot of respect for Computer Recycling of Virginia. They are a 501(c) (3) non-profit that uses proceeds they collect via ebay auctions of donated goods to fix up computers for schools. Pretty cool, and they couldn’t be easier to deal with. If your company has a couple skids they need to get rid of, give them a call and ask for Bubba. I have dealt with him a couple of times for work and he is seriously the nicest guy in the world.

  7. David Troyer says:

    Oh, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I am pretty sure that only Crutchfield’s Charlottesville location accepts electronics recycling.

  8. David Troyer says:

    ahhh, thanks… they should update their website.

  9. Thanh says:

    Barnabas, you can search the Harrisonburg City Code at http://www.ci.harrisonburg.va.us/index.php?id=191. Section 15-2-4 says that allowing animals to defecate on private property owned by other persons is unlawful. You should call the Animal Control Office and inquire what can be done about that. As a dog owner myself, I think its unfortunate that other dog owners don’t pick up their dog’s poop – they make the rest of us look bad. Its also gross and bad for public health. I always carry a baggy.

  10. doubletree dan says:

    Sounds to me like the dog is the master, not other way around…I know, I know….blah blah blah

  11. Bubby says:

    My old laptop (that will only run Win95) sits in the garage dangerously close to one day being crushed under the wheels of the PickUp, and tossed into the trash, because I have no idea how to reliably erase my personal info from the hard-drive. Anyone have any notions how I could save the mess?

  12. David Troyer says:

    there are a number of dos-bootable programs out there with a myriad of algorithms to write and re-write your hard drive well beyond the number of times even places like the pentagon will do.

    That said, the most reliable way to protect your personal info on your hard drive would be to physically remove the hard drive from the laptop, put that in a safe place, and recycle the rest of the laptop.

  13. finnegan says:

    BURN IT!

    no, not really. Thanh would probably not approve of that.

  14. Thanh says:

    Check out these comments from Computer Recycling of Virginia http://www.recycle4va.org/data.htm regarding data security. They erase all of the data using some special software.

    Burning – not such a good idea. Think about all of the toxic fumes you’d be breathing in! :oP

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