Local environmentalists suggest recycling old electronics after the holidays


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) – Many people have new cell phones or TV’s on their holiday wishlist this year, and local environmentalists are encouraging people to recycle their old ones.

Denise McGovern-Gallagher, the executive director of the Grand Island Area Clean Community System, said they collected just under 80,000 lbs of recyclable electronics just this year.

She said they don’t expect that to slow down after Christmas.

“After the holidays, you know once the presents have been opened, then we get a lot of calls. And we get a lot of calls on the TV’s. Some people are just changing out their flat screens. So then they’ll want to get rid of that old one, so then they’ll just call us and we’ll take it,” McGovern-Gallagher said.

Clean Community System is a safe disposal site for hazardous household waste like pesticides, household cleaning products and latex paint.

People can even go and take used household products. Gallagher said they took in 165,000 lbs of hazardous waste this year, and 1/3 of that was reused.

They also take in any kind of electronic device, such as TV’s, phones, computers and keyboards.

A local company will come and pick up the electronics and recycle them in various ways. They might take copper out of cords, reuse plastic around phones or even break down glass screens that can be used for tile in homes.

Gallagher said electronics are actually just as hazardous as some household toxins.

“We only have one earth, and we need to protect our earth. And everyday there’s so much trash that goes into our landfill. It can enter our water streams. It can pollute our waters. It can kill our wildlife,” McGovern-Gallagher said.

She said the only electronic they won’t take is an old-fashioned TV. She said they only take those at their recycling events.

You can call Clean Community System at 308-385-5095 to find out how to safely bring your device to them, and what electronics they’ll take.

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