You can recycle electronics and metal — but no tires

Sick of looking at your mountain of old laptops? Scrap metal in the yard looking a bit tetanus-y lately? Just need an early summer refresh? Kitsap County has got you covered.

The county Solid Waste Division, in partnership with recycling companies DTG Recycle and 1 Green Planet, is hosting an electronic waste and scrap metal- recycling event for families — no businesses, organizations or tires allowed.

Typically, the county bundles the collection of scrap metal and old tires, but due to lack of funding from the state Department of Ecology, the county is unable to offer tire recycling.

In 2017, the state reinstated a fee for the disposal of tires to cover the cost of facility operations and fund cleanup operations of illegal tire dumps. Most of the funding, to the tune of $4.4 million annually, goes to the state Department of Transportation for road maintenance, but the DOE receives $1 million every two years for other tire-related projects — like county waste collection events.

Kitsap County officials recommend that residents dispose of old tires at local tire shops for a low cost.

“Heavy metal belongs in hairspray-filled music videos, not our landfills,” wrote former DTG CEO Tom Vaughn on the company website. “We recycle more than a Twisted Sister cover band.”

The event will take place in Bremerton at the Thunderbird Arena on Kitsap County fairgrounds June 29. Starting at 9 a.m., county waste officials will accept household objects made of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum, copper, brass, stainless steel, iron, tin, steel rebar or lead. Most appliances, gardening tools and metal fencing fit the mold, but there’s a size limit: all items must be safely carried by two people, which means large appliances like washers, dryers, air conditioners and medical equipment are not allowed.

All scrap metal will be sorted at one of DTG’s facilities, then sold to a reclamation mill to produce raw material. Eventually, the metal will be used to make new products.

E-waste disposal requires a bit more involvement from residents. Because recycled electronics can sometimes be refurbished, depending on their condition, all the data contained on the device’s hard drive should be cleared before disposal. When accepting donations, 1 Green Planet uses a powerful magnet to corrupt the information on a device’s hard drive then crushes it to smithereens to prevent restoration. However, for the June 29 event, it’s up to Kitsap residents to ensure that their devices are wiped clean.

“We are more than just an electronics recycling company. We believe in and live for making our world a better place than we found it,” 1 Green Planet founder Michael Szanyi said. We are “dedicated to one hundred percent sustainable electronic recycling. As the use of electronics expands in our lives, authentically green recycling is essential to preventing pollution.”

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