Proper electronic disposal vital to environment

Disposing of electronic equipment is a chore most of us have dealt with at one time or another. This week we wrap up our green series by taking a look at the proper disposal of computer equipment a topic obviously having a direct impact on the environment. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Web site (www.dec.ny.gov) says Electronics from households (e.g., home computers, home televisions) are not considered hazardous waste...(If usable household electronics are sold for non-household use, they cease to be considered household waste.) Recycling and disposal requirements for household wastes vary by municipality. They suggest checking with individual municipalities for this information. When it comes to the state, where a computer item comes from means everything. if it comes from a home, the state does not consider it to be hazardous, but if it comes from a business or organization, it is. That may be the states position but what about the many North Country municipalities? The town of Plattsburgh or the village of Champlain may have completely different ideas about the whole concept that supersedes the states position. Rather than tracking down each municipality I thought a better approach would be to provide readers with two disposal alternatives on opposite sides of Plattsburgh. The first disposal alternative is probably the most obvious one. Its the Clinton County Landfill on the west side of Plattsburgh. Craig Squier, the General Manager said the landfill is happy to accept old computers in full or individual units. There is a modest fee but users are buying the piece of mind that comes with proper disposal. When asked about old laptop batteries, which can be particularly nasty to the environment, Craig said the landfill accepts those at the Schuyler Falls Convenience Station year round without charge. Look for a drop box or ask the attendant to point out the location. (Note: Equally important but not computer-related is the yearly hazardous waste drop-off for Clinton County Residents at the Schuyler Falls Convenience Station. The date this year is Saturday, June 7.) The second disposal alternative is Total Computer Supplies and Accessories Inc., a private business run by Jay Letts on the north end of Plattsburgh. A strong supporter of recycling, Jay is happy to take computer equipment free of charge during normal working hours. His hours are 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m., Monday through Friday and can be reached at 561-6885. Jay claims to be a registered NYS Electronic Equipment Recycler accepting items from private individuals, businesses and government organizations. He prefers to accept items during normal working hours. Do not drop items off outside those hours. Jay has to comply with DEC guidelines in order to be a registered recycler. Dropping items off incorrectly can jeopardize compliance with those guidelines and might trigger a visit from another county official. Call him with any special drop-off requests and he will try to accommodate you. When we no longer need old equipment we should dispose of it responsibly. Well, our time is up once more thanks for reading and have a safe, productive week. Ron Poland is a professor in the Computer Information Systems AAS program at Clinton Community College. Mr. Poland is certified in computer repair and networking by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). He is also a Cisco certified network assistant.

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