Officials reminding residents how to properly dispose of electronics

Officials reminding residents how to properly dispose of electronics

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Officials have a request for anyone giving or getting new electronics this Christmas.

Out with the old, in with the new. It's that time of year where new electronics will be making their way into homes across the country.

But, what do do with the old ones?

Phones, computers, and televisions. These are all items that may be on someone's Christmas list this year. But throwing the old electronics away with the rest of your trash might not be a good idea.

"They have toxic items in them and so it could mess with both our water supply which is very precious, or just leaching into the ground which is also scary," says PRPC Regional Services Program Director Lorie Gunn.

Dangerous metals like iron, mercury and beryllium are commonly found in most electronics. And of course, your trash leads to the landfill.

"And sure they're not very toxic in small levels, but when we talk about having all those metals like in say in a city dump where they collect and accumulate, then we see a problem with toxic waste," says Owner of All Star Computer Service Andrew Brandt.

To ensure your electronics do not make their way into our environment, ask for help recycling from a computer company or government officials. Many of the products are able to broken down and used for other things.

"They melt it down and so all of your plastics say like number one plastics they like melted down and it becomes brand new plastic so it can be reused into a brand new product life form," says Gunn. "So anything plastic, maybe it becomes a new bottle for your coke or soft drink products."

"We're not just talking about computers, but a lot of electronic devices that we use that again we get rid of not necessarily because they've gone bad, but we upgrade," says Brandt. "In 2010, only 30 percent of computers were actually recycled. We want to see that number grow so we don't see a majority of our old devices in landfills."

Places that will accept your electronics to recycle include All Star Computer Service, Phone Medic of Amarillo, Best Buy and some phone carrier locations.

Copyright 2016 KFDA. All rights reserved.