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home : news : community living June 26, 2017

3/29/2017 11:09:00 AM
Old TVs & CRT Monitors Make For Trash Talk
If they were really worth anything, you wouldn't find them being dumped as litter. The truth is that disposal of those old TVs and CRT monitors is a significant expense.
If they were really worth anything, you wouldn't find them being dumped as litter. The truth is that disposal of those old TVs and CRT monitors is a significant expense.

INFO ABOUT ELECTRONICS AS SOLID WASTE:
  • More than 3.2 million tons of electronic waste is laid to rest in landfills every year. 70% of the heavy metals in landfills come from computer and other electronic equipment. 
  • Heavy metals and other chemicals used in electronics manufacturing have been shown to cause serious health effects, including cancer and birth defects.  
  • More than 50,000 tons of electronic material is generated annually in North Carolina.


Wayne Howard
Staff Writer


Lincolnton City Councilman Roby Jetton posted on Facebook in early January:

Got maybe 50 old TVs..It costs 10 bucks apiece to put them in the landfill..Any ideas what to do with them?

His post drew lots of comments, and it became obvious after reading them that (as usual) most of what you read on Facebook is a variety of misinformation. The posts by others included:


Start a TV museum! I've got two I'll donate to you!
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I don't mean to be nosy, but where'd you get 50 old TVs? I know what you're going to say, so ok, I do mean to be nosy. I still want to know. Lol!
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Roby Jetton:
They are in the city...people dumping them on the side of the road knowing we cannot pick them up.
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I think Catawba County has a 'Technology Recycling' dropoff point for TVs, computers--such as that. Perhaps Lincoln County has the same. This is a perfect example of unintended consequences. Fees such as this lead to TVs being dumped on the side of the road/in gullies.



First Federal standard ad 300

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Exactly.
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Roby, make sure that cords are still there. You have a Lincoln County Permit and you can put them on trailer at convenience site at airport.
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The convenience site at Owls Den has a trailer for them.
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They make good targets for a shotgun.
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Heck, yes!! Video it!!
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No ....You still pay the 10.00 at the convenience site...they have people to collect the money now that the rule changed.
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NOT ANYMORE NO TV's OR Monitors !!!!
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Let me know got few myself...lol.
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That's why they make huge black garbage bags.
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Do any work? If so I would like to get one for the man cave....
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Lincoln County has trailers set up at all convenience sites just for that !
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Got to still pay the 10.00 fee...
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Older big ones take the guts out--make great book shelves, also can make a great puppet booth.
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You should have given them as Christmas gifts!!!!
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But put a fruit cake inside each TV to make it a more memorable gift.
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Side of the roads...that will give inmates something to do--they get paid 25 cents a day, plus lunch....
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That's way too much.
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No it's 75 cents a day now they get a dollar but take 25 cents out for packout lunch. I know this because Larry worked them on the job just don't throw them out like some people did on Tin Mine Road right above convenience site, looks bad enough with the trash thrown out on the road.
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If any are still in working order, some nursing homes will take them for patients who don't have their own tv.
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It's crazy !!!
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We have a bunch left over from the flea market - if you find somebody to take them or do something with them, let us know, too!
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The convenience site would not take ours - we gave the landfill $10.00 each (for 2) to get rid of them....My neighbor set theirs out by street - been there for about 6 mos...
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I can donate 5 more!
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Put in trash can
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Around Christmas I tried to donate one to Goodwill. They won't take it. I then took it to the convenience site and they wouldn't take it. Said I could take it to a place in Crouse and they'd take it for $10.
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I have a cabinet to one of the old console tv's if you know anyone who wants it for free as a Pintrest project! It would make a cute puppet theater, bookcase, table, etc.
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Do you remember the gully we used to take Bob's truck to and take off trash. It's still there.
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That's crazy!
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Larry said we had one at my mom's house you can have to go with yours
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Take them to a recycling center.
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Roby Jetton: They will not take them.
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Wow. Try phoning Best Buy or some other electronic store. They take some items for recycling.
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Roby, you go fishing enough to get rid of 10 a week...know what I mean?
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Why do we have to pay to put anything in the landfill??? We already pay taxes for this!!!! That is crazy!!!
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Bust em up with a sledgehammer and stick em in a trash bag
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Someone suggested the same thing to me!
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Take a sledge hammer to them and throw them away a little piece at a time
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A lot of people are throwing them on the side of the roads, see it all the time.
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Why do we have to pay $10.00? Does our tax dollars not cover this? When did we vote to do this?
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DUH why do we pay land fill taxes?
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Roby, I took an old tv to the Tin Mine Rd area (2 miles east of my house), was told to take it to the main landfill,(6 miles west of my house ) did NOT say anything about a $10.00 fee. When I got there I was told about the fee. Best I remember I pay about $100.00 annual fee. Why the additional fee now ? If this is another way the "R"s lowered my taxes then why did the annual fee stay the same ? Roby, PLEASE tell the ones that voted for this,I CANNOT AFFORD ANYMORE TAX CUTS LIKE THIS !!!! Thanks !!!
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Do like everyone else and dump them on the side of the road.
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All I have to say is the Republican controlled County Commission did this, so maybe you could ask them what to do with the tv's.
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It has nothing to do with republican or democrap, it has to do with citizens of this county allowing a few to run over us.
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Please not on Tin Mine Road--don't need any more.
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Give them all to Pudge as a gift!!!! lol!!!!
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You could always give them to Obama for a going away present! Just saying!!
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Most are old and may have gold in them, I hear.

[At this point, we eliminated several back and forth purely political comments related to former President Obama which were not relevant to the discussion which then continued...]

Scatter them in side ditches in front of solid waste officials and county commissioners houses, you pay a landfill tax and to have to pay extra to dump anything amounts to double taxation; it amazes me they won't accept demo and construction debris on Sunday; I was told it was because it would cause there to be more of this type of waste, lol...that means we have folks not remodeling because they can't haul off the torn out waste on Sunday; the thought process of some never ceases to amaze me.
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Roby lives in the city, that's triple taxation for us. They keep a section to put old TV's in the inconvenient sites so does that mean you have to go inside and pay that man $10?
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I have said forever the citizens of this county need to appear at county commissioners meetings, the commissioners only approve or disapprove of what's brought before them, it's time the solid waste dept realize we the citizens employ them, if they can't figure out how to make it work it's time for changes in management.
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Free on one man's junk!! Someone will take them, Roby.
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I tried. Not even a nibble.
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Was told at the Car Farm site, that it cost between $1400.00 to $2000.00 per month for some one to pick them up and haul them off, from out of Charlotte I think, so now we will pay that expense at $10.00 each.
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Terry, they're selling them!
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It's cheaper to throw them out and pay the littering fine than to pay the landfill.
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You may be able to take them to the recycle center on Black Street in Cherryville...they have a trailer for tv's and things. It is on the road just past the Dollar General.
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This really is a serious matter.....We live in the city - thus higher taxes.....We took 2 tv's in good shape to Goodwill - they refused them....took them to convenience site because we knew they had a trailer - rules have changed...they refused them...took them to Crouse to landfill and paid them $10..00 a piece ($20.00) and then had to unload them......Neighbors set them on street in their yard so grass & weeds can overtake them....looks terrible - but what do we do.....
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The landfill is paid by taxes, plus 95 dollars landfill fee, then 10 dollars for each tv. Roby, you need to run for the county comm.
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I took 2 to convenience site and told the young man to take down my tag number and gave him my name and phone number, told him to have them call me. I left them in the trailer with the electronics....I let you all know when I hear something.
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I think it is wrong I agree with Debby.
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Any tube type? Pull the tubes, can't get them anymore.
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RE-Source Management USA - Lincolnton's Recycling Center. They are on Georgetown Road at the intersection of Victory Grove Church Road. They recycle the TV's and they do not charge you.
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Good information thanks
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Take them to Goodwill; they send them to their school for people to learn on!
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I tried. They said they don't take them any more.
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That's our property tax dollars going to good use, NOT! !! FIND OUT where they take them in Charlotte and haul to Charlotte; that's about $10 worth of gas!
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Put them out in yard, cover them up and then someone will steal them.
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Well what is going to be the next 10 dollar fee the county will tap on us? Maybe if they would cut back on everybody that gets to drive a white vehicle home, they wouldn't need these senseless FEES.
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Make fish tanks out of them
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The landfill on 182 used to take them, call before you take them.
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Gastonia recyclers on road to Clover; they take them and might even pay you for a truckload. There are two places within a half a mile of each other on left side of rd headed south.
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Target practice !
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This reporter, having read the earlier comments, posted this comment:

This particular discussion is just the tip of the iceberg of what will become a much larger discussion over the next several years. One of the biggest problems that will be faced by your children and grandchildren is waste disposal. From non-recyclable solid waste to potentially toxic and non-biodegradable materials to the waste left over from power plants, it's all a growing problem that has yet to be addressed sufficiently. Years ago, nobody worried about the waste from coal--but it has been big news for Duke Energy and those living near their power plants the last few years. An even more serious problem that will develop down the road is the waste from nuclear power plants. The cost of disposal has already been added to some items when you buy them and I look for that to be true more and more as the years go by. Those old TVs and computer monitors aren't just worthless--disposal of them is costly and largely only a temporary and definitely non-renewable solution. There are places in Asia where they accept that kind of waste from around the world--for a fee--and then dump it on the poor people who can't fight the contamination hoisted on them. The County isn't ripping you off. You may pay for solid waste disposal, but that doesn't mean anything and everything you decide you want to toss. Putting some things in a landfill would just be creating an even bigger problem down the road...so some items have to be handled otherwise--and it costs money. As for accepting construction debris at convenience sites on Sunday, the same argument might well apply: they can remove the fees, increase what and when you can bring, etc.--but they'll have to cover the cost. So do you want a higher tax bill? Because somebody has got to pay the bill--either the one producing the trash (as it is now) or everybody via more taxes.

That was back in January. Then in early March, we read the following comment on a Facebook post of a Lincoln Herald article saluting the anti-litter efforts of Patty Korn

While I applaud Ms. Korn on her efforts, there is an issue that has emerged with the new rule towards TVs and computer monitors with CRTs (Old Tube style screens) where they now are required to be taken to the landfill at a $10 cost each. Many of these old TVs and monitors are now ending up in side ditches on the county back roads including the one pictured which has been on the Horseshoe Lake Road for nearly two months now. Other friends have made mention of the same thing in other areas of the county so it's obviously not a random incident. The amusing part of this is the article with the county commissioners advertising this "clean sweep" which to me sounds like they are asking the citizens of Lincoln County to clean up a mess that was brought on by the Solid Waste Department which I'm going to assume had to have authorization from the commissioners to enforce. Now I know this $10 cost for the old CRT units is being passed on from the recycler, but that same recycler pays the county $100 for every recycled desktop computer. So while the county is glad to get that $100 for your desktop, they don't want to take the $10 loss on your old TV. Which even if they paired up desktops and TVs, that would still net the county $90. My opinion here is if the county is going to be in the recycling business, they need to take the loss on items as the same as profitable items- otherwise, why even bother to recycle? The right thing to do for the county would be to reverse this ruling on CRTs and go back to including it in the services we already pay them for through our taxes. All of this being said, as a citizen of Lincoln County, if this TV on Horsehsoe Lake Rd. gets picked up in this "Clean Sweep" who then has the pleasure of paying the county the $10 to take it in? More importantly, who's going to leave the thing in the ditch?

We checked. Is the County really getting $100 for your old desktop? No. Some--not all--old desktops can be sold, but the total amount the County has received from selling those in fiscal 2015-16 and so far in 2016-17 amounts to less than $1,500 for the two years. It doesn't take too much thought to understand that if these old electronics had any real value, then nobody would be dumping them beside the roads. It is true that there were some valuable precious metals (a very small amount) in some old TVs. For a time, there was an industry that sprang up harvesting that from them. That, of course, still left the bulk of the old sets as worthless garbage. Some of the unscrupulous entrepreneurs involved in the harvesting created corporations that stored that debris in warehouses. Then they went out of business after making off with the money they got from selling the precious metals. Now there are warehouses all across the country filled with junk of which someone is going to have to dispose (and in some cases already has or is now in the process)--usually at the cost of cities and counties on whom the problem falls. [The reference to the "Clean Sweep" was related to another Lincoln Herald article.]

So back to the topic, what do you do with that old TV or CRT monitor? Lincoln County charges a $10 fee at the landfill. You can also take your old TV or monitor to the convenience site on Webbs Road on Saturdays only. Cleveland County and Catawba County, unlike Lincoln, do not charge an extra fee for disposal of these items. In Catawba County, residents of that county can take them to the Blackburn Landfill. Both Cleveland and Catawba only accept them from residents of their counties.

Gaston County will accept your old TVs and monitors at the landfill on Philadelphia Church Road. The cost there is $4--and no, you don't have to be a resident of Gaston County. They'll accept your household trash, too, even if you live in Lincoln County--you just have to buy one of their "garb cards" available at convenience groceries and other locations around the county.

Why does Lincoln County charge the extra $10? The state now mandates that those electronics items cannot be placed in the landfills with the rest of your garbage. No doubt, some are still ending up there. People are hiding them in bags with other trash; in some cases dismantling them first.

The County pays to have the old electronics picked up for disposal. The fact is that the cost for that far exceeds the money they get from the $10 fee.

Why do Cleveland and Catawba County not charge extra? They include the cost of the electronics disposal in their annual availability fees. Sam Lockridge in Cleveland County told the Lincoln Herald, "doing it the way Lincoln does encourages people to dump them beside the road. It costs us money, but we consider it part of what we do in handling solid waste."

We asked Don Chamblee, Lincoln County Public Works Director, and he got us the following information from Mark Bivins, Lincoln County Solid Waste/ Landfill Manager:

For the period from July 2016 through February 2017, the county's cost for recycling electronics totaled $48,176.69. The good news is that the figure declined from a total of $81,136.43 for the period of July 2015-February 2016. How much did the $10 fee contribute to paying that cost? 1,086 TVs and computer monitors brought in $10,860.

While some electronics categories saw an increase from the previous year, others went down. Old TVs declined by about 40%, CRT monitors dropped by 80%, but other consumer electronics, computers, printers and peripherals increased substantially.

When we discussed the problem with Lincolnton's Asst. Director of Public Works Rob Buff, he told us he had attended a NC League of Municipalities workshop last year in which the speaker said the problem with the old TVs and monitors is going to decline in the future. "The price of flatscreen monitors and new big screen TVs has come down, and people are replacing those old ones. They're not making those old models any more. Within the next few years, the problem will largely disappear."

Some products you buy (tires, for example) have a disposal fee included in the retail price you pay when making a purchase. That is something you might expect to see more and more in electronics. Some other countries have already adopted that policy.

One thing most people do not understand is that enterprise funds as they are called (solid waste, water & sewer, electrical--for cities that have their own electric system) must be self-supporting in their operations. Cities and counties can allocate money from their General Fund for projects--like building a new water plant or sewage treatment plant--but they cannot use regular property tax money for day-to-day operations of those services.

By the way, the City did pick up those old TVs to which Councilman Jetton referred in his January Facebook post. It was a matter of cleaning up an unsightly mess on a city street. The City of Lincolnton does not accept old TVs and computer monitors as part of your regular trash. As a Lincoln County resident, those who live in Lincolnton can take them to the landfill and pay the $10 fee--or to Gaston County and pay them $4. Please--don't dump them beside the road.

We tried to reach several of the supposed electronics recycling locations either listed in the Facebook comments or online.  In the case of one listed as Tryon Recycling in Gaston County, the number listed on the internet was a residence and they knew nothing about any such business.  In the case of Re-Source Management, USA, they have a Facebook page and a website and when I called, I got an answering machine that said, we'll call you back--but they never did.  Best Buy does do recycling of some electric and electronic items...but it's a not a free service.  Their online info said they'd take your old appliance or TV for disposal for a $14.99 fee when you buy one from them.  We couldn't find that referenced (in Facebook comments) businesses south of Gastonia (comment said toward Clover).  They were also not listed in any online info. The only legitimate info on who takes old TVs and CRT monitors we found in Gaston County was the county at its landfill and a Belmont location--but both charge the $4 fee.




 
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