Sanders County Ledger - Your Best Source For Sanders County News

County collects e-waste, sees improvement


by Justin Harris

When collecting trash to help the environment, it seems counterintuitive to celebrate when the total accepted tonnage goes down – but it is actually a good sign.

The Annual Sanders County E-Waste Collection event was held last weekend with residents, businesses and organizations bringing their unwanted, outdated electronics to the site for proper disposal. It was reported 4,200 pounds of waste was hauled away, which is about half the weight that was collected last year.

Organizer Kathy Conlin attributes that to participants bringing in less old televisions and outdated computer monitors. “That tells us that there are less of those items out there,” said Conlin, who noted that the CRTs (cathode ray tubes) within those old electronics are hard on the environment and complicated to dispose of, “those bulky items contribute to the high poundage the event saw in the past. So, less weight collected is actually a good thing.”

Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Dusti Johnson has been working with Sanders County on this event since its inception in 2014, and has praised the county residents for their participation and awareness. Also praising the county was Shelly Mitchell of Oreo’s Refining. Mitchell’s business is the vendor that hauls and disposes of the collected electronic waste and donates a penny per pound back to the Thompson Falls food bank. “It was a joy to work with Brad Kinzie at the transfer site, as well as the two hardworking students from Wood Creek Academy,” Mitchell said of the transfer site operator who is “on it,” and the boys “with the great attitudes” who spent their downtime at the event picking up trash in the area. Mitchell was also grateful for the delicious milkshakes donated by Deb Cheetham from Little Bear Ice Cream Parlour.

Four county schools contributed to the haul, bringing old electronic educational tools for proper disposal. Trout Creek, Plains, Noxon, and Hot Springs schools were on that list. Although Thompson Falls Schools had a trailer full ready for throw out, there wasn’t school board approval in time for the event.

While this one-time-a-year event is the only time e-waste is collected, there are other avenues for recycling different materials throughout the year. Blue recycle containers are posted in various locations to collect paper and cardboard for recycling. Thompson Falls Town Pump parking lot, Plains dump site near the golf course, Trout Creek dump site (the Local Store accepts cardboard around back), Noxon dump site, and Heron dump site all have containers to accept recyclable materials. Conlin noted that residents could be more diligent about recycling cardboard, as an observation during her time at the Falls transfer site this weekend. Of course, cardboard covered with food and other contaminants cannot be recycled, but every clean piece of cardboard recycled contributes to the effort.

Aluminum cans, metal, batteries, used oil and mixed paper can all be accepted for recycling. Items the county is not set up for because of cost or other restrictions include florescent bulbs, plastics, plastic bags (film and wrap), glass and Styrofoam. Unwanted paint can be dried out and disposed of with regular household trash (saw dust helps the drying process), or cans can be brought to the paint exchange during Beautification Days in April.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018