By: Sarah Snyder
If you're like us, your back closet at work or home might be packed tight with e-waste. Everything from old computers to printers, TV's and cell phones. Keep Midland Beautiful and the City of Midland are helping folks in the Tall City clear out the clutter and make sure it's all recycled.
What might start out as looking shiney and new in the store seemingly takes about as much time as the check out to turn into a pile of outdated computer equipment. Old computer monitors, keyboards and printers - piles of e-waste that seems to be growing just as fast as new technology hits the shelves.
"E-waste is the fastest growing group of waste going into our landfills," Doreen Womack, Executive Director at Keep Midland Beautiful, said. "I don't think anyone was prepared for the overturn of electronics."
That's why on Wednesday, the City of Midland and Keep Midland Beautiful were packing up their old computers in preparation for Texas Recycles Day.
"The City of Midland had over 100 computers, monitors, printers and the like that needed to be recycled," Womack said.
Roger is just one of the city employees who helped bring out stacks of old equipment for recycling. He says having a place to bring the e-waste is invaluable.
"It would take two or three days to gather up everything because we don't have the storage space in our offices, so it would be scattered throughout our offices in different places. So we'd have to go get it and it turned out to be a real bear," City of Midland Employee Roger Johnston, said.
Instead of putting the clunkers in the dumpster behind your yard, Keep Midland Beautiful wants to encourage Midlanders to join in and recycle - ultimately keeping the dangerous metals out of our landfills.
"A monitor can have up to seven pounds of lead in it," Womack said.
"It's very important that this kind of stuff not be put in the dump because of the precious metals, because of the lead, the cadmium, all kinds of things that are in this equipment nowadays and it will leak through the ground and get into the water," Johnston said.
Last year businesses, individuals and city employees loaded up four semi trucks full of e-waste, and this year they're expecting a lot more.
"With the changing in electronics all the time, that tells you this need is going to stay constant," Womack said.