Monongalia County starts electronics recycling program to keep county clean

MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - If you have old TV's, microwaves, or lawn mowers just dusting away in your garage in Monongalia County, you can get rid of those for free.

The County Commission has reached a deal to offer free electronic recycling to residents in the county, which will help keep them out of landfills.

This won't cost taxpayers anything, according to Commissioner Tom Bloom. The trash program on Satrudays is funded through taxpayer dollars, but this is just an added bonus to the program that already exists.

"PC Renewal talked with us and said they'd be willing to do it once a month and we thought it was the perfect time," Bloom said. "We handed out literature the last couple of weeks so the public knows."

There's easily 50 different types of items accepted from speakers, stereos, fax machines, or even lawn mowers. Part of the reason the county brought this to the citizens is to help keep these items out of landfills.

"It's just one more thing that doesn't go into the landfill," Bloom said. "I really think that the public here in Monongalia County is interested in recycling and saving our environment."

Some of the plastics in various electronics have the potential to pose hazard to the environment. With both the Monongahela River and Decker's Creek in the heart of Monongalia County, it's important that these unwanted items stay out of the water.

"Electronics contain a lot of plastics and they contain a lot of heavy metals," said Evan Hansen with Downstream Strategies. "If they're not managed correctly, they could potentially harm the environment in particularly some of these pollutants could end up in the waters."

While it's not believed that there's a serious risk toward people or public health, these are things that don't belong in landfills.

"Some of these substances are valuable resources," Hansen said. "Certain metals that are rare Earth elements that are very expensive and environmentally damaging."

The first event kicks off on January 18 at the Walmart off I-68 in Morgantown.

It will only be the second Saturday of each month, and they won't accept items containing freon.

To see a list of items they'll accept, you can click on the Related Document.