Don’t throw that old cellphone or box full of mixed computer cords in the trash. Bring all that unwanted electronic material to the Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council during two weeks of free electronics recycling starting Jan. 17.
Residents and businesses can drop off items from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 17, or on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19-30 at the nonprofit’s warehouse, 1400 Main St., in Baton Rouge.
Although the Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council has held an electronics drop-off day followed by a week of free recycling for the past several years, this year there will be a few changes.
The first change is that CACRC has expanded from one week to two weeks for the event. The second is that the Saturday drop-off will be held at the nonprofit’s office instead of an off-site location, said Nancy Jo Craig, executive director of CACRC.
CACRC accepts old electronics year-round and most of the material is accepted for free with a few exceptions — such as CRT monitors and printers, she said. The two-week free event waives those fees and helps get people more aware about what the organization has to offer.
“It gets people’s attention. They’ve gotten their gear for Christmas and their old cellphones are in a drawer,” she said. “We’re really hoping people will clean out their closets.”
The first priority for CACRC is to see if the donated material can be reused, Craig said.
“We get in beautiful equipment,” Craig said.
On computers, hard drives are erased and upgrades are made before the computers and laptops are made available to the public either through the group’s storefront or through various programs to make computers affordable to seniors, nonprofits or low-income customers.
“Our computers and laptops have a one-year warranty,” Craig said.
Bringing in electronics for either recycling or reuse helps keep the material out of landfills.
“In the United States, 70 percent of electronics get thrown in the garbage,” Craig said. “Every bit of it can be recycled.”
It’s not just computers and monitors either, but old cords, phones, cellphones, computer accessories, stereos and even security systems can be recycled or refurbished.
The CACRC doesn’t accept some items, such as televisions, appliances, copiers or furniture.
CACRC is a R2 RIOS-certified recycler that shows that a group is recycling electronics with “the highest standards for environmental protection, worker health and safety, and data privacy and facility security,” according to the certification site.
Follow Amy Wold on Twitter, @awold10.