WAYNE – A perfect Saturday morning was meant to recycle electronics of all sorts in northeast Nebraska.
Two lanes of eastbound traffic on 3rd Street between Lincoln and Pearl near the Wayne City Hall were set aside for the Ninth annual Electronics Recycling Event put on by the Wayne Green Team.
Each year the Wayne Green Team applies for grant funding through the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy. Sandy Brown said they were lucky to work with their same vendor as last year being The Retrofit Companies.
“They have been excellent to work with,” said Brown. “They are here early, they are so efficient, they have safety meetings for our volunteers. So, everyone really knows what to do. Where to put TVs, laptops, miscellaneous and electronics.”
Members of the Wayne State College women’s soccer and men’s basketball teams did the heavy lifting.
“We’re seeing people bringing old TVs, console TVs that are quite large and take a couple people to help move,” Brown added. “We’re seeing computers, laptops, monitors. We’re even seeing like miscellaneous electronics like toasters, blenders, even vacuum cleaners.”
A lot of the older tube TVs contain lead and mercury which are harmful to the soil and groundwater. The Retrofit Companies and companies like them know how to property dismantle them, separate and get them off to the right facilities to be processed.
Residents in northeast Nebraska have recycled over 145,000 pounds of electronics the past eight years which equates to more than 65 tons of harmful materials kept out of the landfill.
Brown appreciated all of help from the City of Wayne, police and volunteers for their work.
“We’re really happy to have such great support in this community of Wayne for our sustainability issues to reducing waste and really recycling right,” Brown mentioned. “So, if you have any more questions on where to take something in Wayne, there’s about 18 different materials that can be recycled or re-used in Wayne.”
A donation of $10 per carload or $50 per business load of reasonable size was suggested for the event. Additional fees were $10 per tube TV and $5 per tube monitor (no charge for flatscreens of any kind) along with a $15 fee per microwave.
Preliminary stats from Saturday’s Ninth annual Electronics Recycling Event put on by the Wayne Green Team:
A 53-foot semi-trailer was filled with about 20 pallets of electronics which included 70 tube TVs, three tube monitors and 11 microwaves. A total of 140 cars loads were served, just three fewer than last year; $3,000 in donations and fees were received (decrease of 30% from last year’s record, but second highest amount ever collected) and 58 volunteers assisted with the event (46 from WSC and 12 from Green Team community).
The Wayne Green Team is looking to coordinate with a non-profit to host a Household Hazardous Waste event in the spring of 2023 along with planning Earth Day events in April.