LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Many people will receive TVs, computers, and other electronic gifts this holiday season. But what's the best way to dispose of your old electronics? And what happens to them after they leave your hands?
"LCD TV's are obviously a big craze, said Curt Greeno, President of Dynamic Recycling in La Crosse. "There's lots of great deals on big TVs. And most of the time, the units people are getting rid of are also still working. So if they're working you can pass those on to somebody else. You can take it to a local thrift store to get donated to somebody else for reuse which is the best form of recycling.
But if your electronic is too outdated to be useful or no longer working, your best option is recycling.
"It's against the law to throw it [electronic waste] in the landfill," said Greeno. "So we bring it here, we recycle it, and it gets made into new products."
In 2010, Wisconsin banned most electronic waste in landfills. According to Greeno, one of the reasons is the environmental impact they have.
"There's actually quite a bit of hazardous chemicals in electronics," said Greeno "When it's working in your house you're not exposed to any of those chemicals but when it gets thrown into a landfill those chemicals can leech into the ground and cause lots of harm."
Dynamic Recycling is a six year old business that accepts electronic waste from across the country, and disassembles it to be reused, refurbished and recycled. Besides eliminating the environmental impact of electronic waste, the company was named the fastest growing company in Wisconsin by Inc. magazine.
"Green goes hand in hand with economics in a lot of instances if you really put your mind to it," said Miles Harter, Director of Business Development at Dynamic Recycling. "A lot of people don't just because we have a wasteful society. But if you think about it in the right terms, a lot of times it makes business sense as well"
Many electronic recycling plants take other items like light bulbs and microwaves.
Dynamic Recycling says that if they can't recycle an electronic at their La Crosse location they send it off to other recycling plants so their overall waste production is next to zero. But it all starts with you.
"Take that [electronic] to a local recycling shop and get it recycled as opposed to throwing it in the landfill," said Greeno. "Recover those metals, employ local jobs. And do the right thing. It's not that hard and it doesn't cost a whole lot of money. Just a little time."
The city of La Crosse and many private companies offer electronic waste drop-off or pick up services for electronic waste. Dynamic Recycling works with companies, manufacturers and municipalities and does not accept drop offs.
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