Archive for Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Local electronic recycler provides solution to Christmas gift conundrum

December 27, 2011

The downside of receiving a new laptop, cell phone, Blu-ray player or other electronic gift for Christmas is what to do with the used piece of equipment it replaced.

There’s little point in storing electronics that are likely already obsolete, and dropping them in the garbage risks putting dangerous substances such as cadmium, beryllium or flame-retardant chemicals in landfills.

Christy McGhee has an alternative. She started Christy’s Electronic Recycling this summer and accepts computers, printers, phones, fax machines, remote control devices and other electronics — everything except televisions and computer monitors with cathode tubes, which she isn’t licensed to handle.

She can pick up the old electronics for free, McGhee said. She then disassembles the electronics and sells salvaged parts.

“A lot of people I talked to last summer called somebody to pick up electronics, and they would charge them money,” she said. “I think it’s really strange people would charge to take your old computer if they are going to make money.

“A lot of people just throw it away after they hear that. Then it goes to the landfill.

There has to be a better way of dealing with that than filling up our landfills.”

McGhee said the recycling business grew from her computer interest.

“I took a computer class for taking computers apart and adding more RAM (random access memory),” she said. “It’s just interesting to me to take computers apart.

“I heard you could recycle them.”

McGhee said she hopes to salvage and recycle plastic, motherboards, metals and all other material of value, including the small amount of gold in some electronics.

She collected half a trailer full of electronics during October’s citywide cleanup. McGhee said she’s been busy tearing it apart since. She also researched the online auction site eBay about how best to profit from the recycled materials she collected.

“EBay is pretty interesting,” she said. “I listed, but not in electronics. They want more bulk.

“I want older desktops. I’ve got some, but that’s really what sells.”

To schedule a pickup of used electronics, call McGhee at (913) 704-5240.

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