Oct. 27, 2003
Residents can now clean out their closets of outdated computers, old TVs, broken VCRs and other high-tech trash by recycling them at a semi-annual Community Recycling Drive. The community can bring those and additional recyclables to the west parking lot on the Wildwood Campus of Harrisburg Area Community College from 9am to 2pm on Saturday, Nov. 8. The first 200 visitors bringing their recyclables receive a free composting bin provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Items that can be "e-cycled" at this free event along Industrial Road include:

  • answering machines
  • compact disc players
  • copiers
  • duplicators
  • electric typewriters
  • fax machines
  • hard drives
  • laptops
  • mainframe computers
  • modems
  • microwave ovens
  • pagers
  • personal computers
  • printers
  • printed circuit boards
  • radios
  • remote controls
  • stereos
  • tape players
  • telephones and related equipment
  • testing equipment
  • transparency makers
  • uninterruptible power supplies and VCRs
  • CPU's/cell phones
  • televisions
  • CD Rom, DVD, VHS and 3.5 floppy disks
  • empty inkjet and laserjet printer cartridges
  • Non-electronic items are welcome, too. Residents can bring tires (small fee of $1.75 per passenger vehicle tire, $2 per light truck tire), corrugated cardboard/aluminum cans, plastic #1 & #2 (such as soda bottles and detergent bottles). The Salvation Army will collect clothing, usable household items like pots and pans and utensils.

    The semi-annual event is sponsored by the Dauphin County Department of Solid Waste and Recycling, the Environmental Programs Curriculum at HACC, Howard Tires Co. and The Salvation Army.

    Residents can drop off their items in a convenient drive-through or stop and enjoy food, drinks and educational displays. Dauphin County's new recycling mascot, Billy the Bottle-Nosed Dolphin, developed by fifth-grader Matt Wolff of Hershey, makes his debut.

    "We are always looking for new ways to reduce landfill loads and pollution," Commissioner Jeff Haste said. "Instead of just setting your techno-trash out at the curb on trash day, you can bring it to HACC and we will dispose of it safely."

    Considering that the lifespan of the average computer is only two to three years and most broken TVs and VCRs are not repaired, the proper disposal of these items has become an important environmental issue in recent years. Complicating matters is the fact that these items often contain lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium, which can be dangerous when released into the environment.

    Earlier this month, Dauphin County received its second Waste Watchers award from the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania, the state Waste Industry Association, the Solid Waste Association of North America and DEP for its dramatic increases in recycling rates and educational efforts. Dauphin County's four prior e-cycling drives were among the reasons cited for this award.

    "Our recycling program has consistently been recognized as one of the best in the state," Commissioner Lowman Henry said. "We hope to build on that success through voluntary recycling drives such as this one, which have been enormously successful in the past. At our second drive alone, we recycled 60 tons of electronic equipment."

    "Today's technology is changing so fast that it is hard to keep up. Recycling is an easy way for all of us to help the environment," Commissioner Anthony Petrucci said. "We encourage everyone to load up their trunks and stop by HACC to throw things away the right way."

    "HACC students care deeply about the environment, and their participation in planning and conducting this event is one way they are making a difference," said Christine Bittinger, director of Environmental Programs for HACC. "Our student body has been truly dedicated to recycling and preserving natural resources."

    HACC's degree programs in Environmental Specialist and Environmental Associate help students develop hands-on skills and offer internships, preparing students for careers in laboratory services, natural resource management, waste management, air and water quality, regulatory affairs and related fields.

    If you have questions about what can be recycled on November 8 or every day, please call the Dauphin County Recycling Hotline at 780-6351. For additional information, visit the county website at www.dauphincounty.org or click below to send an email to Bittinger at HACC.

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