What you should know about West Cape May’s free Electronic Waste Recycling event

Laptop, tablet, and smartphone

This coming Saturday, on May 22nd, the West Cape May Environmental Commission is holding its fourth annual Electronic Waste Recycling event. To date, they’ve collected over eighteen tons of e-waste, keeping it out of our landfills and waterways.

While it might seem like no big deal to toss your old computer into the curbside trash, sending your electronic devices to the landfill contributes to air and water pollution since they can contain toxic substances that leech into the soil. Recycling also helps recover materials that can be used to create new stuff, versus relying on virgin materials. According to the EPA, recycling one million cell phones can recover “35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium.”

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s event:

  1. This event is free!
  2. It takes place on Saturday, May 22nd from 9am-2pm at West Cape May Borough Hall at 732 Broadway—rain or shine.
  3. The WCM Environmental Commission is partnering with GreenChip, an e-waste recycling company based in New York with over twenty years of experience.
  4. Anyone can drop off their e-waste for recycling. You don’t need to be a resident of West Cape May, and it’s not an event solely for individuals. Businesses and schools are welcome to participate as well.
  5. You can recycle computers, TVs (flat screen and the not-so-flat kind that weigh a ton), printers, cell phones, tablets, charging cables, and strings of holiday lights (but not other types of bulbs).
  6. Take the batteries out of keyboards and remote controls, and remove the cases from computers and phones.
  7. They won’t accept microwaves, washers, dryers, or stoves (check with your city or municipality about bulk pickup)
  8. There’s no limit to how much you can drop off. If you want to round up electronics from friends and family in advance, you can bring them down by the truckload the day of the event.
  9. While it’s good practice to wipe e-devices of personal information before recycling, the e-waste collected during this event will be securely transported to the recycling facility, and data storage devices “will be destroyed within R2, Department of Defense (DoD), and National Institute of Technology (NIST) standards.”
  10. You don’t have to get out of your car! Drive in, pop the trunk, and the on-site team will remove everything for you.

I dug through my closets and came up with three computers, a DVD burner (remember those?), an old flat-screen TV, a few old cell phones, and a dead keyboard that I’ll be taking down. If you won’t be in town for the event, check with the EPA for recycling programs available through major brands and retailers.