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Area slow to catch bug for e-trash reuse

Fort Wayne-area residents could do a better job disposing of air conditioners, cellphones, old computer monitors and other gadgets, an environmental official says.

Tony Burrus, executive director of the Allen County Solid Waste Management District, said about 361,000 pounds of electronics were recycled in 2012.

And while that may be encouraging “it is about what we did in 2011,” Burrus said on New Year’s Eve.

Many residents continue to allow convenience to rule over recycling. It’s easier to set an old VCR out with the trash than to drive it to a drop-off site, Burrus said.

“We’re still trying to address awareness,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize” that the state prohibits the improper disposal of electronics, most of which contain hazardous materials like mercury and lead.

The trouble is there’s no fine when people do it. Burrus said officials have to remain adamant about informing the public about the environmental dangers of electronics ending up in landfills.

Residents can discard unwanted electronics at OmniSource, 1430 Meyer Road in Fort Wayne.

The site is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

pwyche@jg.net

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