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Changes to electronics recycling on the horizon

Electronic devices contain precious metals as well as toxic substances such as lead, mercury, beryllium and cadmium, making recycling difficult and expensive. A few years ago when gold prices were high, recycling companies were willing to buy old television sets and computer monitors. Municipalities could collect these items from consumers for free, because private companies were willing to pay enough to offset the collection cost. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

Falling commodity market prices, a limited number of recycling outlets and increasing material handling costs have placed a significant financial burden on electronics recycling program budgets across the country. In Wisconsin, many counties have pared back their electronics recycling programs to just one or two year-round collection sites or a limited number of collection events per year. Some counties have discontinued their collection programs altogether due to lack of funds.

Responding proactively to increasing budgetary pressures while still offering convenient disposal options for its residents, Dunn County will reduce the number of collection sites accepting electronics for recycling to four locations. Effective June 27, 2016, electronics will be accepted at the collection sites in Boyceville, Colfax and Elk Mound, as well as at the Transfer Station and Recycling Center in Menomonie. Electronics will no longer be accepted at collection sites located in Connorsville, Downsville, Ridgeland and Rock Creek. The four selected locations experience the largest volume of electronics and are located within a reasonable driving distance for residents within the Dunn County Solid Waste and Recycling service area all while keeping fees the same.

For more information, visit the Dunn County Environmental Services Department Solid Waste Division website at www.co.dunn.wi.us or call 715-232-4017.