(KCPW News) Old televisions getting the boot for sleeker high-definition sets can be recycled for free at both Salt Lake County landfills. Dorothy Adams with the Salt Lake Valley Health Department says the digital conversion taking effect in February spurred the county to action.
"So we are anticipating an enormous amount of television waste hitting the landfills in the next coming months," Adams says. "And we wanted to divert those materials from going into the landfills by offering this and including this in our household hazardous waste program free of charge to Salt Lake County residents."
Adams says the program will recycle the TV sets and all other electronic waste to keep the toxic materials they contain out of the landfill and give new life to their recyclable parts. While the landfills have liners to keep hazardous chemicals from leaching into groundwater, Adams says it's wiser to keep all hazardous materials out of the landfill to begin with.
These include just about anything with a plug, like old computers, monitors, printers, fax machines and microwaves. Adams says recycling these items eliminates the potential for future problems, and gives the landfill a longer lifespan.
"Things that don't have to go there, why put them there when you don't know if the integrity of the landfill is going to last hundreds of years? Nobody knows that, I mean you just don't know. So, why put this stuff in there when it can be reclaimed because the heavy metals in them can be reclaimed? It seems quite wasteful," Adams says.
The county's free E-waste collection sites at both landfills are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will be closed on New Year's Day.