Lawrence residents by the hundreds said goodbye to giant console televisions, microwaves and computers from a different era Saturday at Free State High School.
The electronics were put out to pasture, so to speak, at the recycling event sponsored by the city of Lawrence. Crews hurriedly stacked the oversized appliances on pallets and shrink wrapped them in bizarre-looking eight-foot shrines to a time when a team of friends was needed to move a television.
“Our goal: nothing to landfill and nothing going overseas,” explained Bob Akers from Surplus Exchange, the nonprofit that would cart the electronics across the country. Teams in Iowa, Missouri and Canada are to de-assemble the products, remove harmful materials and figure out ways to reuse what’s left, Akers said.
Even with fees ranging between $10 and $20 to recycle some items, city crews directed a constant stream of cars Saturday. With two hours left, the event had already seen 300 vehicles drive through, said Kathy Richardson, operations supervisor for the city’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Division. A final tally, measured in tons, will be presented to the City Commission later in the week.
Across town, Douglas County Bank, 300 W. Ninth St., hosted a similar event with Extreme Recycling and Jayhawk File Express as part of a “Shred Day” that also included electronics recycling. People stopped by and crews shredded — then recycled — documents with potentially sensitive information.
Pat Slabaugh, executive vice president of Douglas County Bank, said they’ve offered the popular service for eight years to help fight increasing threats of identity theft.
It was a busy day at both locations, a sign that Lawrence residents appreciate opportunities to protect the environment, Richardson said.
“We love the participation,” she said. “Every single vehicle that comes through here thanks us.”