33,636 pounds of electronics recycled

LAFAYETTE – Residents from around Boulder and Weld counties brought in 33,636 pounds of old electronic equipment to be recycled in a one-day event presented by the city of Lafayette and town of Erie in June, according to a statement released Monday.

In all, miscellaneous electronics equipment accounted for 11,953 pounds of material collected at the Saturday, June 1, event. Televisions accounted for 10,375 pounds. Computer monitors were 5,762 pounds and other computer parts made up 5,546 pounds.

About 65 workers at the Metech Recycling office in Denver will break down the equipment and sell the various commodities in it, including copper and plastic, said Allyson Weaver, a company spokeswoman. The event generated about $6,000 for Metech, an industry-certified private company based in Worcester, Massachusetts, Weaver said.

Residents paid varying fees – from $2 to $25 – to dispose of devices such as cellphones, computers and televisions, according to a press release. Various electronic devices – mostly computer devices and televisions – cannot be thrown into Colorado landfills following a law that went into effect July 1. Electronic “e-waste” has hazardous components such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and silver. Computer batteries also may contain nickel-cadmium, lithium or sealed lead acid, according to the press release.

Metech charges people to throw away their items because of the cost of recycling them, Weaver said, including trucks and labor costs.

Cathode ray tubes found in old computer monitors and TVs are the most expensive items to recycle, mainly because it’s hard to recycle leaded glass in the tube, Weaver said. A copper yoke is the only profitable piece of the tube, she said. Plastic housings on electronics, on the other hand, can sell for 4 cents to 6 cents per pound, she said.

Weaver declined to discuss revenue of the Denver office. Parent company Metech International Ltd. is owned by a Singapore-based investment firm.

Metech was chosen by the city of Lafayette in a bid process, Weaver said. The company is a certified “e-Steward” in the recycling industry, meaning that no products are shipped overseas, she said.

The event was sponsored by the Lafayette Public Works Department and the Lafayette Waste Reduction Advisory Committee, in partnership with the city of Louisville and the town of Erie.

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