GREENVILLE — Montcalm County is teaming up with a Grand Rapids business to bring electronic recycling to the area.
Because electronic waste is a growing concern in the environment as it leaks harmful toxins into soil and water, Montcalm County Resource Recovery Coordinator Jacob Rytlewski said it’s important to bring an electronic recycling option to the county.
“Technology is constantly changing and as people replace outdated computers, TVs, printers, cell phones and other electronic gadgets, they are often left wondering what to do with it all,” Rytlewski said. “Being proactive and recycling obsolete electronics is the responsible way to dispose of this waste stream.”
The county is starting a new program to manage the problem by partnering with nonprofit Michigan electronics recycler Comprenew of Grand Rapids.
With rural communities having fewer options to dispose of electronic waste compared to urban area, Rytlewski said people being to stock pile electronics that could be more than 20 years old.
Through the program, he said Comprenew will supply a trailer to travel around Montcalm County providing an area for residents to dispose of their electronics.
Rytlewski said the first stop for the trailer will be at the Greenville High School from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 4 through March 17.
Acceptable items include cell phones, radios, microwave ovens, VCRs, TVs, computers, monitors, speakers, power cords and more.
Air conditioners and refrigerators are not accepted.
“When the trail is filled up, it will be taken to their facility for recycling,” he said. “Comprenew does not ship (electronic waste) overseas, and the zero landfill policy requires that all (electronic waste) received is recycled, refurbished or reused.”
Rytlewski said Greenville Art Teacher Sonja Peterson will be creating an art project using some of the electronic waste to help promote the idea.
The project will be displayed permanently at Comprenew’s facility after being displayed locally.
Last year, Peterson had her art class make sculptures out of unwanted waste to help promote recycling.
“It’s a really good way to get awareness out there,” she said to The Daily News about last year’s project.
The trailer will move from its Greenville site to Carson City for the second s top in the program.
“With any new program, it can be hard to estimate how successful it will be, but if I had to pick a number to reach, it would 50,000 pounds for the year,” Rytlewski said.
For more information, contact Rytlewski at (989) 831-7504.