Tri-County Recycling is feeling the effects of the economy like many businesses. With every little bit helping right now, they have started taking e-waste.
E-waste, or electronic waste, can currently be taken to the landfill but a law that goes into effect January 2010 will stop that. All recycling centers are supposed to be set up to take e-waste by June of this year according to Tri-County Recycling Manager Steve Penney.
Penney said the significant drop in prices has really had an effect on the center. In September, cardboard was $130 per ton, it is now $15 per ton.
Penney has prisoners come help sometimes but for the most part the people who work at the center are paid employees. Then, when you take the price of gas into account the center is really looking at some trouble.
Although the e-waste isn't required until June the center decided to start now. There will be a meeting held Jan. 21 to finalize the details, but Penney said after calling around he has a good idea of what the charge will be.
E-waste refers to television sets, microwaves, toasters, any appliance that doesn't have freon. Computers are taken as well. Penney said it will be $5 to bring in a television, computer or a small box of appliances.
"I know not many people have them anymore," Penney said. "But, the big console TV will be a little higher." After calling other e-waste locations to get an idea of what the going rate is, he said it will probably be around $8 for the larger stuff. That figure will be definite after the meeting.
The center already has a trailer set up for the waste. When it is full the waste goes to the prisons where they take the precious metals out of it. "I don't know what they do with the rest," Penney said.
"We will probably find a higher dump rate after the law goes into effect," Penney said. "But, we highly encourage people to bring their e-wast here -- it's cheaper than a ticket."