Lowcountry businesses invited to dump old technology at e-waste rally

Staff Report
Published March 27, 2013

If you look around your home or office and see a lot of old technology cluttering up your space without knowing what to do with it, don’t be tempted to dump it in the trash.

That’s against a 2011 South Carolina solid waste law that requires e-waste recycling to keep hazardous and toxic materials out of landfills.

Charleston County has 10 electronic waste drop-off sites for computers, monitors, laptops, televisions and more, and Berkeley and Dorchester counties also accept electronic waste. But Verizon Wireless, which has a call center in North Charleston, is holding an e-waste rally next week.

What can you bring?

Just about any electronic device with or without a plug, Verizon said, including:

Desktop computers
Computer cables
Mice and keyboards
Gaming consoles
Telephones and answering machines
Stereo and audio equipment
Paper shredders
Alarm clocks
Conferencing equipment
Remote controls
Small electronic appliances (such as coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens and can openers)
Vacuum cleaners
Electronic toys
Electronic chargers

The company plans to hold eight rallies across the U.S. this year, and this is the first one in South Carolina, the company said in a statement. Verizon’s collection event in Wilmington, N.C., a year ago brought out 1,000 people, donating 86,000 pounds of e-waste, which filled up seven tractor-trailers.

The rally and drop-off will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., April 4, in the parking lot at the Verizon Wireless Call Center at 2401 Mall Drive in North Charleston.

Verizon said that hard drives in computers will not be wiped before being recycled and suggests that companies and individuals remove hard drives from computers before dropping computers off.

The company said its recycling partner, Anything IT, takes extra steps to make the hard drives unusable by removing circuit boards and housings.

“Then the drive is passed through a hard drive shredder at our facility with the drive destroyed as it passes through a series of interlocking gear-like wheels that grind and break the metal into smaller pieces,” said Anything IT’s Senior Vice President Paul Brundage.

You can’t bring items with hazardous materials in them such as batteries, inks or toners, and mercury bulbs, Verizon said. So if you have laptops or other electronics with batteries, you must take them out before dropping off.

“Everything Verizon collects is subsequently shared with a recycler who disposes of the items in strict adherence with Verizon’s zero-tolerance landfill objective,” the company said in a news release. “The zero-tolerance policy requires that all materials are reused or recycled with some components stripped down to their essential materials and metals which are then distributed through the manufacturing supply chain for re-use.”

Verizon said that since launching these collection rallies, the company has collected about 1.1 million pounds of e-waste.

Not all of it gets broken down. Used phones go to help survivors of domestic violence, and laptops that can be refurbished are donated to Work Vessels for Veterans.

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