Saturday, April 19, 2008

Household Chemical and Electronics Collection Day

Take advantage of Tampa's Solid Waste Department’s upcoming Household Chemical and Electronics Collection Day on April 26, 2008 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 4010 W. Spruce Street, to safely dispose of your old televisions and computers (in addition to many other materials – visit the web site at for more information on materials accepted. (by the way...all those compact flourescent bulbs contain mercury and are toxic and should be recycled this way and not thrown in the trash)

Electronic waste accounts for 70 percent of the overall toxic waste currently found in landfills. In addition to valuable metals like aluminum, electronics often contain hazardous materials like lead and mercury. In just 2005, almost two million tons of e-waste ended up in landfills.

While toxic materials comprise only a small amount of this volume, it doesn’t take much lead or mercury to contaminate an area’s soil or water supply.

Televisions Back before there were plasma screen and liquid crystal display (LCD) tubes, we were all watching our Super Bowls and sitcoms on cathode ray tubes (CRT). The CRT model provided room for all your switches and wires in a box behind the screen, but it also stored a lot of lead. Approximately 20 percent of CRTs are comprised of lead, equivalent to between four and eight pounds per unit.

Combine this with the fact that the FCC is going to require all televisions to run a digital signal by February 19, 2009, and we could be looking at a lot of lead headed for landfills. Even the smallest amounts of lead can be a serious issue, and we’re talking about eight pounds per unit.

Computers Many laptops have a small fluorescent lamp in the screen that contains mercury, a toxic material when inhaled or digested. Mercury is also contained in computer circuit boards, which also include lead and cadmium. Circuit boards can also feature batteries made of mercury, as well as mercury switches*.

So please consider this information and be sure to dispose of your e-waste at a local Household Chemical and Electronics site. Call Nina Stokes, Recycling Coordinator at (813) 348-6515 for more information.

*Material adapted from EARTH911.

1 comment:

KombatRock! said...

thanks for posting this