RECYCLING

'Fall-E': Locals recycle 40,000 pounds of electronics at Auburn's Natural Resource Center

2013-09-22T03:05:00Z 'Fall-E': Locals recycle 40,000 pounds of electronics at Auburn's Natural Resource CenterGreg Mason | greg.mason@lee.net Auburn Citizen
September 22, 2013 3:05 am  • 

SENNETT | On Saturday, the Natural Resource Center in Sennett looked like a technological graveyard.

About 40,000 pounds of materials and appliances were given up by their owners for a myriad of reasons, from being outdated to unusable.

Stacks of aged televisions, computer monitors, air conditioners and other items were organized for collection.

But instead of being thrown into a landfill where they could pose an environmental hazard, these items may see new life through the Cayuga County's annual fall recycling event.

More than 450 participating vehicles were tallied by county staff. Participants were relieved of electronics, propane tanks, batteries, freon appliances, florescent light bulbs and other items to be properly disposed of.

It was the second-best turnout for the fall recycling event in the fourth year of its history. The Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development and the county's Cornell Cooperative Extension were the lead organizers.

"It's a good way to recycle the right way instead of the wrong way," said Gary Hurd, owner of Finger Lakes Recycling in Weedsport.

Bruce Natale, county environmental engineer, jokingly referred to the event as "Fall-E," a reference to the Pixar movie "Wall-E." He said the occasion was organized through popular demand when people tried recycling their electronics during the county's annual chemical recycling event in October.

The freon appliances and the propane tanks, Natale said, collected on Saturday will be recycled by Finger Lakes Recycling while the other items would be disassembled for reuse by Regional Computer Recycling and Recovery in Victor, N.Y.

Cars lined up to drop off their unwanted goods, whether it was as simple as a plastic bag of batteries or a trunk filled with small refrigerators and television sets.

Natale said five truckloads of materials were packed when the event was over at 1 p.m.

"It's better this way than when people just throw out the scrap and don't care about the environmental issues or anything like that," Hurd said. "I'm happy that everybody's catching onto this more and more."

Amy Barra, environmental educator at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County, said throwing out these items incorrectly could lead to hazardous chemicals, such as lead and mercury, polluting the area's watershed by being left in a landfill.

Barra said the fall recycling event has been gaining more and more steam in the recent years even after the county's recycling event in the spring.

"People are going to constantly be upgrading and have a constant need to do something with all of these things," she said. "I don't know what else they would do with them."

Staff writer Greg Mason can be reached at (315) 282-2239 or greg.mason@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenMason.

Copyright 2015 Auburn Citizen. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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