New London diverts electronics from landfills
By Scott Bellile
It’s clear residents care where their unwanted appliances end up.
A community electronics recycling drive held this summer shattered last year’s record for pounds collected by more than 17 tons.
People dropped off 96,198 pounds of used electronics at New London Utilities during the four-hour event held June 18, New London Utilities General Manager Steve Thompson announced to the city council on July 12.
“I think it was quite a well done project,” Thompson told the council. “I’m amazed that it keeps growing. I mean, you’d think at some point we would go down, but we don’t seem to be. So that was huge.”
The fifth annual drop-off smashed the previous record of 61,087 pounds of items collected in 2015, and more than doubled the 46,750 pounds collected in 2014.
Televisions were a hot drop-off this year, with more than 900 accumulated, Thompson said.
To date, New London area recyclers have kept 156 tons of equipment out of the landfills since the event began in 2012.
It came at a price to New London Utilities—$35,000—but it’s just one of several free public services offered to the community to encourage sustainable lifestyles. Past programs include tree giveaways to punctual bill payers and a holiday light exchange to swap incandescent Christmas lights for LEDs.
The electronics recycling drive was held by New London Utilities and Appleton-based RecycleThatStuff.com. Attendees dropped off items including cameras, laptops, video game systems, coffee machines, microwaves, and washers and dryers.
Cars lined up from the front doors of the New London Utilities building to North Water Street to drop off appliances.