A New Way to Dispose of Electronics

August 22, 2006 -- 6:25 PM CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- Arkansas will ban computers, cell phones and other electronics from landfills beginning in 2008, but the Craighead County Solid Waste Disposal Authority is already a step ahead.

"We've started to retrieve electronic items and save them here at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)," said Judith Long, Recycling Educational Coordinator.

All old electronics in the MRF will be transported by Hummelstein Steel and taken to Texarkana for proper disposal.

Long said she wants to get the message out on how to dispose electronics properly.

"If I had a computer to get rid of, I would first go to my retail store where I purchased it," said Long.  "Some of those take them back, like cell phone companies take back cell phones a lot of times," she said.

Proper disposal of electronics is a health issue as well.  Long said that mercury, lead and acid are considered dangerous when compressed in large amounts.

"We're just glad to say that we're in the market now, and we're not waiting until 2008," said Long.  "We hope people will start to cooperate, and start to get rid of their electronics in a good way."

The state also has a free program continuing through September 30 for those who want to dispose of their electronics via UPS.  For information on that program log onto www.adeq.state.ar.us.