Jackson hosts city's first electronics recycling day

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shirley Cracraft of Cape Girardeau asked a few friends about the location of Jackson's recycling center before she found it on Eastview Court.

She felt a little more familiar with Jackson once she found it and was happy to get rid of an old computer and free up space in her laundry room. Cracraft previously had thought she found a place to recycle her computer, but was unable to get the details.

Then Cracraft heard about Jackson's E-Cycle Day. Writing a $10 check seemed fair enough to Cracraft, who said, "I could've put the monitor in a Dumpster, but I wanted to do the right thing."

Jackson held its first E-Cycle Day on Saturday at the Jackson Recycling Center, where residents bring plastic, paper, glass, cans and other household waste to cut down on what goes into landfills.

Cape Girardeau County residents and businesses were able to participate in the Jackson e-cycling program that emphasized electronics.

E-Cycle Day began with city engineer Ken Pates, who frequently gets information from the Department of Natural Resources about e-cycling events, said Jackson's informations systems manager Joan Evans. She said it didn't take long to line things up.

Another E-Cycle Day is planned. "We already have a date set to coincide with Earth Day in April 2009," Evans said.

People arrived with items they wanted to dispose of as early as 7 a.m. even though the start time was 8 a.m.

Jackson Mayor Barbara Lohr said she was pleased with the turnout. She arrived at 8:30 a.m., and by 11 a.m. had only heard of one complaint because of the fee. "This is a wonderful event," she said.

The city plans to apply for a grant next year to eliminate the $10 fee. This year they were too late to apply, Roach said. February's ice storm put the city back three months because of the massive curbside limb removal project. The spring cleanup in April, which allows Jackson residents to place items that were not for regular pickup at the curb with no restrictions, was postponed until July this year.

"Having cleanups in fall and spring is a disadvantage because both seasons tend to be rainy," Roach said. The plan is to turn both cleanups into one.

Midwest Recycling of Crystal City, Mo., separated and removed lawn equipment, computer monitors, appliances, furnaces, cameras and other items that are unusable and obsolete and take up a lot of room in landfills.

Tony Krieg, co-owner of Midwest Recycling, Brent Reid, foreman of Jackson sanitation, and about 10 workers had the recycling event running like a well-oiled machine.

Krieg, who co-owns Hogenmiller Appliances and TV, said that about six years ago the Solid Waste Management District in St. Louis approached him with a grant to get the recycling business off the ground.

"We still fix and sell some appliances," he said.

While a steady stream of cars lined up at Eastview Court, workers cut the cords off all items and placed them in a big waste container. Wire snipping is just one part of the recycling process.

Krieg said his firm makes money off the raw material but first must disassemble the items. "Most of that is done by hand with drills," he said.

Furnaces, dishwashers, dryers and lawn mowers go into a steel shredder. Everything else gets broken down into plastic, aluminum, copper and brass.

A total of 72,000 pounds of goods was recovered at the event. Fees from computer monitors and TVs totaled $2,000, Krieg said.

cpagano@semissourian.com

388-3648

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