'E-rase your E-waste' Announces Spring/Fall Collection Dates; New E-cycler


It's spring cleaning time again…even if it doesn't feel OR look much like it…which means the Richland County "E-rase your E-waste" committee is gearing up for its annual collection events. There are, however, a few changes in this year's program.

First and foremost is the addition of a new e-cycler, Yellowstone E-waste Solutions, out of Billings, MT, according to organizers. "We've opted to go with a new e-cycler this year, not because of any issues with our previous provider, but because we want to support development of a home-grown MT e-cycling industry,” according to E-rase your E-waste Committee co-chair Jackie Couture. "And we're able to do it without impacting our primary goal which is to make e-waste recycling readily available for local residents."

Like the previous e-cycler, Yellowstone will provide their services for FREE, with one small exception, Couture noted. Participants will now need to pay a small fee of $2 to $5 to have their hard drive shredded, depending on if it's already removed from the computer or the company has to remove it. "We think it's a small price to pay for security, so it wasn't a deal breaker," she added.

A new e-cycler is not the only change made this year. Organizers note that the group is combining its Thursday summer month collections into a single spring weekend collection, set for Friday and Saturday, May 10-11. The regular September weekend collection remains unchanged and is set for Sept. 6-7.

"We've combined the summer events for a couple of reasons, but primarily to accommodate the Fairview community which is working on setting up an e-waste collection of their own during their annual city-wide cleanup day," Couture said. "That day is Saturday, May 11, this year," she said, adding, "We're thrilled to be able to work with Fairview in this effort."

Again, the collections in Sidney and Fairview are all FREE! Details are still being worked out for the May 11th event in Fairview, but the Sidney events will be held as usual at the Richland County Shop at 2140 W. Holly in Sidney, next to the Fairgrounds. Signs will be posted. Times for both spring and fall events in Sidney are Fridays 3-7 pm and Saturdays 9-3 pm.

Please note, the county shop is available for drop offs during event times ONLY, when Yellowstone E-waste Solution employees and local volunteers will also be available to help with loading and unloading.

Local businesses, agencies and organizations with large amounts to e-cycle are asked to make an appointment to drop off their items by calling Jackie Couture at 406-433-9422. Please leave a message.

Where possible larger recyclers are also encouraged to palletize their own items, or send extra staff to help get it done at the summer events. Details on acceptable items and how to palletize them can be found in a handout posted to the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab's e-waste website at http://www.ars.usda.gov/npa/nparl/ewaste. In addition, a handy "Items List" recycling form is also available at the website to further speed processing time for participants bringing both large and small amounts, Couture noted.

The "E-rase your E-waste" effort in Sidney is coordinated by members of the Richland County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), Richland Opportunities Inc., and volunteers with other community organizations including the RSVP program. Several local businesses, including Sidney Health Center, Lower Yellowstone REA and Sidney Sugars, have also provided aid and promotional support in the past, Couture said. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has also committed funds for advertising the 2013 event.

The city of Sidney and Richland County have also provided significant financial support over the years in addition to allowing use of the county shop for collection events, while the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney continues to provide significant organizational and promotional support.

While encouraging area residents to e-cycle, "E-rase your E-waste" organizers also noted that e-waste in Montana and North Dakota is not yet regulated and in many instances can legally be disposed of in local landfills, although some do charge a fee. However, because of the toxic substances contained in e-waste such as lead, mercury, cadmium and heavy metals that could cause serious environmental and human health problems, Couture says many individuals and businesses opt for e-cycling where available, even at added costs. And the great thing about e-cycling, she adds, is that 98.5% of e-waste materials can be reused in some other fashion, meaning longer landfill life as well as a healthier environment!


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