Living Green: The Importance of E-Cycling - 8 News NOW

Living Green: The Importance of E-Cycling

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LAS VEGAS - People love their electronic devices, until those devices stop working or become obsolete. Those formerly state-of-the-art gadgets suddenly become expendable.

If tossed in the garbage, electronics can become toxic to people and the environment.

"The fastest growing waste stream is electronics," said Angie Ransom with Electronic Recyclers International. "Electronics contain all kinds of different hazards - like TV screens that are CRT material. There's lead in the glass of CRT."

Lead, cadmium, and mercury are some of the hazardous components from electronic gadget that can seep into and contaminate groundwater.

Ransom says proper disposal of electronics can be helpful in many ways.

"Number one is recovering valuable commodities. So, by recycling electronics, we're able to recapture plastics, glass, metals and send them to smelters to be reused and put into new electronics or other things like car bumpers or park benches or anything else," she said.

Fewer than half of U.S. states ban e-waste from their landfills. Nevada does not, so recycling electronics becomes a conscious choice for local consumers.

"We want to discourage residents from putting things on the curb," said Tracy Skenandore with Republic Services. "Your TVs, your computers, your laptops, your monitors, save those and make sure you're disposing of them responsibly and properly. Unfortunately, if you do put them at the curb, they do end up going to the landfill."

Because the process of deconstructing and recycling electronics - especially televisions - can be tedious and costly, green recycling companies are hard to find. Skenandore says if residents have the option, they often recycle.

"At the heart of recycling, I think is feeling that you're doing the right thing for the environment," she said. "You're protecting our local environment. You're keeping our community clean and green, and you're doing the right thing."

One way to properly discard your old electronics is to take part in 8 News NOW's Living Green Super Recycle event. The event takes place Saturday, January 11 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Thomas and Mack Center.

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