While getting rid of junk mail on your computer can be a problem, getting rid of an old computer itself is becoming a big challenge. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is trying to help schools get rid of some of their outdated and unuseable electronic equipment. The D-N-R’s Bob Castelline says schools often end up with extra donated equipment. He says sometimes that donated stuff needs parts or software, and schools can’t afford the upgrades, so they have equipment sitting around they can’t use. He says this pilot program gives the schools an affordable option for getting rid of the stuff. He says individual schools often don’t have the quantities of material like a large business might haveto make it cost effective to get rid of. The D-N-R has contracted two companies to haul the stuff off and reuse whatever can be salvaged. He says they’ll pick through and take out the stuff they can recycle and it will keep the stuff out of the landfill. Castelline says electronic equipment is the fastest growning waste stream facing the state. He says computers are now obsolete withing 18 months to two years and the markets to recycle old computers, monitors and other electronic equipment are not fully developed to handle the load. He says they’re collecting electronic waste at eight sites. Cost to participate is five dollars for the first three computer monitors and five dollars for each additional monitor thereafter. There is no additional cost for other computer related items. The Marshalltown (Area Education Agency 6) collection event last week was the first, and other events are scheduled for Clarinda, Lakeland AEA (Cylinder), Council Bluffs, New Hampton, Hiawatha, Davenport and West Des Moines. More than 100 schools are scheduled to participate.
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