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Daily Newscasts

Out with the Old This Holiday - the Right Way

December 11, 2006

Des Moines, IA - From high-definition televisions to new computers, you may be happy about the new electronics under the Christmas tree this year. But high-tech gifts raise at least one important question for the recipient: what to do with the old equipment that's being replaced?

Amy Horst with Metro Waste Authority says in years past, people would toss those items out, but that's not smart. What's inside them could be hazardous to your landfill.

"It's not illegal for residents to throw their old electronics in the landfill, but it's just not the environmentally responsible option."

Horst says many communities across the state have facilities that will recycle old electronic equipment to keep it out of landfills, a process known as "de-manufacturing."

"Some electronic recycling companies de-manufacture the electronics. They remove the hazardous parts, like the color cathode ray tubes (CRTs) found in televisions or computer monitors, and then they shred the remaining pieces."

Horst recommends calling your local City Hall or solid waste provider to find a facility nearby that will recycle old electronics.

Dick Layman/Eric Mack, Public News Service - IA