Pasco County Florida – When good electronics go bad.

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Jul 31, 2013 Jim Lawler (0)

In an article published July 28th 2013 by Tom Jackson a Tribune Staff writer, Tom explains his own personal experience in dealing with the recycling of his computer monitor via Pasco County and their contractor Quicksilver Recycling Services. My introduction to Pasco County’s e-waste recycling program began quite out of the blue, the Dell computer monitor at my Wesley Chapel office refused to work one day. My IT guys suggested that I recycle it and that’s how I wound up driving last week to Pasco’s electronics recycling outpost located on the northwest corner of the county’s vast solid waste complex. There you will find Mickey McGee, from Plant City via Zephyrhills, who ushers obsolete electronics from resident’s vehicles and prepares them for transport to Quicksilver’s Tampa facility for processing. McGee’s on-site supervisor is Charley Ryburn, who oversees Pasco’s hazardous waste disposal, a responsibility that falls under the jurisdiction of the utilities department. This day both are in the company of Jim Lawler, vice president of Tampa-based Quicksilver Recycling Services, which handles the vast bulk of gadgetry flowing through Pasco’s e-waste program. In 2011-2012, this amounted to nearly 700 tons of TVs, computers (both laptops and desktops), cellphones, gaming consoles, monitors and who knows what else. Earlier, someone had dropped off avionic instruments from some unknown airplane. Most of it is inoperable, but some of it has simply been deposed by something newer. “Our biggest month,” Ryburn says, “is January. People bring in the old TV and the box the new one came in.” Mostly, however, stuff arrives that has been relegated, perhaps for years, to a closet or a garage corner, succumbing only to redecorating or relocation. Folks in the solid waste business call this clinging “attic mentality,” the practice of hanging on to utterly obsolete or otherwise useless things for reasons hard to explain. Ryburn likes the program because it keeps heavy metals from going up the incinerator chimney or leaching into the ground water. Lawler likes the program because recovering those same materials, though labor intensive, is still cheaper than mining and it prevents pollution. McGee likes it because you never know what you’re going to see next. I like it because they promised to be gentle with my sleepy old Dell monitor.

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