No E-Rase Your E-Waste Event In May

Members of the E-rase Your E-waste committee announced this week that there will be no e-waste collection in Sidney this spring, but that the event will be held as usual in the fall.

“Our e-cycler recently informed us that they would not be able to take televisions or CRT monitors at our annual spring collection event in May because of a backlog of those items in recycling warehouses across the country,” Committee Chair Jackie Couture noted. “We also heard the same thing from Montana DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality). Because those items represent a large part of what we collect at our events, we’ve decided to wait until September to hold another collection to give us and our e-cycler time to come up with options for local residents.”

The committee is hoping the backlog will be addressed by the time its fall event comes around in September, according to Couture. She added, however, that the group plans to go ahead with the fall event regardless so that residents can safely dispose of their other e-waste items.

If the backlog continues there may have to be a charge for recycling television sets and CRT monitors at future E-rase your E-waste events, Couture said. In cancelling the May event this year, organizers are hoping the backlog for CRT monitors and TVs will be at least partially alleviated by fall potentially curtailing the need for a charge, but if not, the committee will also have had time to consider other options to reduce the expense for area residents.

“When we started these collections more than a decade ago, there was a per pound charge for all the e-waste brought in for recycling,” Couture noted. “At that time, the city and the county contributed funds and we raised additional money from local businesses and individuals to help offset the charges for area residents to encourage them to recycle. We may have to do something similar again if the situation remains as is. To date, we’ve been lucky to be able to offer the event free since 2010.”

Couture encouraged local residents to hang on to their outdated electronics and other e-waste items until the September E-rase Your E-waste event in Sidney, or recycle them with other recycling businesses in the area. For example, in Sidney Pacific Steel & Recycling takes e-waste, and while they, too, are feeling the crunch in recycling televisions and CRT monitors, they can take other e-waste items and in some instances will pay you for them. They may also take some televisions and monitors for a charge, but before hauling those items, interested persons are encouraged to call ahead to see what items are being accepted and what if any charges exist for recycling those items (406-433-1301).

Couture also reminded residents, that one well-known local recycling business, Richland Opportunities Inc., DOES NOT handle electronic waste (just paper, cardboard, some plastics, etc.) so please do not drop your e-waste there. She also discouraged residents from taking their items to the Richland County landfill.

“Given the high lead content in TVs and CRT monitors - up to 4 pounds in the glass - the last thing we want people to do is to dump them in the local landfill,” Couture said, noting lead poses a human health hazard. “We’re hoping to have a solution by fall. In the meantime, we‘re very disappointed not to be able to hold our spring event, but will work hard to ensure that September’s event goes on as planned.”


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