• Permanent solution for electronic recycling

  • Independence will soon become more green in its recycling efforts, but this initiative, in some instances, also is going to cost a little green – money, that is.

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  • Independence will soon become more green in its recycling efforts, but this initiative, in some instances, also is going to cost a little green – money, that is.
    The Independence City Council Monday night approved a contract with Midwest Recycling Center to take over operations of the city’s two recycling drop-off centers. MRC, the city’s sponsor vendor for the past four annual electronics recycling events, had approached the city with the proposal to take over operations of the facilities off of South Vista Avenue and on 35th Street.
    The contract includes no cost to the city and would allow current operations staff to return to the city’s Street Maintenance Division. According to city staff, the existing recycling material collection will continue through a price agreement with EnviroStar.
    While many items can be recycled for free, including materials that are currently accepted at the two facilities, some large computer monitors and TVs will cost residents to recycle.
    Cathode ray tube computer monitors and TVs, as well as console televisions, will cost between $5 and $35 each. Flat-screen TVs and computer monitors, as well as other electronics, major appliances and all lawn and garden equipment, are free to recycle.
    “I think it’s a really positive thing,” Public Works Director John Powell said. “… It’s a really positive step forward. I think it will be a new opportunity for people to recycle their products.”
    MRC also is sponsoring the city’s fifth annual electronic recycling event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 at the large parking lot on the southwest corner of Kansas Avenue and Liberty Street, on the Square. The event is open to the public and requires no proof of residency.
    Citizens can bring computer monitors, small appliances, cell phones and pagers. The fee for dropping off electronics is the same as the new agreement at the two recycling centers, with no fee for all other electronics, including flat-screen TVs.
    No large appliances, lawn equipment, car batteries or non-rechargable batteries will be accepted at the April event.
    According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, unwanted electronic products, or e-waste for short, can contain lead, arsenic, mercury, nickel, zinc and other various toxic materials and heavy metals.
    “When disposed of carelessly, the toxic materials inside the electronics can be harmful to both people and the environment,” the DNR says on its website. “The toxic materials can seep out and contaminate our soil, water and air if that product gets crushed or improperly incinerated.”
    District 1 Council Member Marcie Gragg said the waiting time at the once-a-year electronics recycling event often discourages residents from taking their old TVs and computer monitors.
    “Being able to do this on a frequent basis, even at that small cost, is fantastic,” Gragg said.
    Page 2 of 2 - But District 2 Council Member Curt Dougherty said he is concerned about the cost associated with recycling CRT computer monitors, CRT television sets and console televisions. He said he’s received several calls about trash being dumped throughout his northeast area of town, including old electronics.
    “Maybe $20 seems a little high,” Dougherty said. “I wonder what it costs us to pick them up off the side of the road as trash, versus getting it down to $2. I would like to dispose of mine, but I would have a hard time thinking about the $20.
    “I would find some other way to get rid of it, even if it was just smashing it up in pieces and putting it out in the trash. Twenty dollars seems expensive to get rid of something – it seems like they’re all over the side of the road.”
    District 3 Council Member Myron Paris also asked about where residents could take brush and limbs, especially after the two most recent snowstorms.
    Powell said the city’s first drop-off of the season will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 875 S. Vista Ave., 1 mile east of Missouri 291, off of Truman Road.
    Residents can drop off trash, brush, major appliances, batteries, lawnmowers and tires. No leaves or grass will be accepted. The cost is $10, cars; $15, vehicles larger than a car; and $25, trailers 8 feet or longer. Call 816-325-7623.
    Said Mayor Don Reimal of this weekend’s drop-off depot: “Great timing.”
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