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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Woodland Hills

City Collects Tons of Electronics to Recycle

February 04, 2001|SABRINA DECKER

More than 40 tons of old computers, televisions and cell phones were recycled Saturday as part of a citywide effort to divert unwanted electronic equipment from landfills, officials said.

The event held in the parking lot of Pierce College was the second of five in a yearlong pilot program sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Sanitation.

The project is designed to help those with obsolete, broken or unwanted computer printers, monitors, hard drives, televisions and other electronics dispose of their equipment in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

Working computers often are donated to schools, religious institutions and nonprofit agencies, but they also can end up in trash cans, and ultimately, in landfills, said hazardous waste manager Fernando Gonzales. Instead of taking up valuable landfill space, computers left for recycling on Saturday will be resold or broken down and sold for their parts.

All software and data will be removed from a hard drive before it is passed on to a used-computer or parts dealer, said Randy Lewis, general manager of All Tech Computer Recyclers, which was contracted to organize the event.

The first recycling event, held in November in Cheviot Hills, yielded 43 tons of recyclable material. Three more events are being planned for the South Bay, Hollywood and either the East Valley or Mid-Wilshire area, Gonzales said.

In addition to computers and printers, the recycling program accepts cables, telephones, televisions, video games, stereos, VCRs and electronic toys. It does not accept refrigerators, microwave ovens, washing machines and dryers, batteries and computer software.

Officials hope to collect as much as 400 tons of unwanted electronic equipment from all five events. Depending upon the results, the city will consider adopting a permanent citywide recycling program.

On Saturday morning, cars lined the college parking lot, waiting for equipment to be unloaded and placed on pallets.

"This is great," said Bettina Mosley of Reseda. "I've had this TV forever, and I didn't want to just put it out on the curb. What a great service!"

For more information, call the city's hotline at (800) 988-6942.

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