Another recycling option nears in county

Within a few months, St. Joseph County residents will have a place to recycle home electronics, on a weekly basis.

Eric Shafer, manager/site engineer of the Waste Management property near Three Rivers, said he is optimistic the drop-off program will be in place at some point in March.

A few years ago, Waste Management held a Saturday-only “e-cycling” collection, and the response was immense, Shafer said.

The program ended when the grant to support the collection expired.
Shafer said the popularity of that collection and the twice-a-year drop-off opportunity at the county fairgrounds has stayed in the back of his mind.

“We can go ahead and just send TVs and old computers to the landfill, there’s not a law against that, but I know it’s not the right thing to do,” he said. “I feel it’s important enough to recycle electronics that I wanted to try to work something out that we could give people options on more than two occasions a year.”

So, Shafer eventually hooked up with a Berrien County company called Green Earth Electronics and Recycling. The St. Joseph-based company has accepted electronics at the past few fairgrounds collections and all indications show it has done a solid job.

Still, Shafer said he and Waste Management officials must tour Green Earth’s facility and meet with its management to ensure it complies with several requirements stipulated as part of the proposed weekly St. Joseph County collection.

“I guess you could call it an audit and, essentially, what we need to verify is that they’re not just taking the guts out and dumping everything else on some wetlands on the back of their property,” Shafer said. “It’s a formality, but it’s also a legal requirement and a responsibility on our part, so that’s something we’re working on right now.”

Shafer had hoped the weekly drop-off event would start at the beginning of 2019, but a few issues, including a need to conduct the facility tour, have stymied progress.

He said recycling will take place at Waste Management’s recycling location off Roberts Road, at the east end of the landfill.

Manned collection will be organized in a way that same products will be together rather than all electronics mixed together, Shafer said.

“It’ll be set up in a way that TVs and monitors will go in one bin, all computer processors in another bin, keyboards and mice in another collections box and so on,” he said.
Notice will be given to local media when the collection schedule begins.
In addition, for the second year, Waste Management is offering recycling of Styrofoam on a quarterly basis.

Remaining collections this year are March 16, June 15 and Sept. 21. Styrofoam collection is open 7:30-11:30 a.m. on those dates.

Courtesy :