Environment: E-recycling 

Spring is here and, with it, the impetus to pack away winter clothing, unfurl your Easter linens, and try to locate your gardening tools. 

Also time to grapple with the inevitable pile of items you don’t know what to do with.  How do you dispose of dead batteries?  Can you throw away paint? And what’s to be done with that lazy outdated computer? 

The man to ask is David Nash, Chatham County’s Environmental Program Coordinator. Nash has been hard at work growing recycling opportunities for county residents, both through convenient drop-off sites and recycling events such as the E-Recycling Drive March 31 (details below). 

“The more I realized how bad some of our waste was for the environment,” he says, “the more I started researching companies that could help us recycle materials at minimal cost the county.”  

Among Nash’s achievements are established recycling drop-off locations including Wilmington Island at Concord Road, Chevis Road Site of Highway 17, and the Sharon Park Site off Highway 80. 

While Chatham County manages much of the sites located in the Chatham perimeter, other drop-off sites are managed by the City of Savannah.  For information on those locations, visit www.ci.savannah.ga.us. 

“We’re focusing on the Wilmington Island site right now,” says Nash. “We’re expanding the facility to include a covered workspace area and two stationary compactors, one for cardboard collecting and one for collecting #1 and #2 plastics.” 

If the County Commission approves funding Nash may be able to further expand the Wilmington Island recycling facility by two additional stationary compactors. 

Compactors help consolidate materials which is helpful not only in keeping the facility tidy but also for resale of recycled material to buyers.  Nash explains that they pay-off isn’t much – approximately $0.05 per pound of recycled #1 and #2 plastics and even less for mixed plastics. 

“We’re not in it for the money,” he asserts, “We’re in it to collect these items and remove them from the waste stream.  Then taxpayers don’t have to pay to put it in the ground”

In addition to traditionally recyclable materials, the Wilmington Island site also accepts furniture and household goods, yard waste, scrap metal such as appliances and bicycles, and carpet.  They anticipate being able to recycle oil and batteries in the near future. 

While recycling infrastructure may seem costly up front, it is more cost-effective in the long term.  The charge for sending waste to a landfill, known as a “tipping fee,” is based upon weight.  Therefore heavier materials such as glass, carpet, and scrap metals wrack up the cost for disposal, which currently runs at $30 per ton. 

For additional recycling of those more obscure objects both Chatham County and the City of Savannah are offering area residents an alternative to filling the waste basket, including upcoming events such as the E-Recycling Drive at Lake Mayer and the Earth Day Recycling in Forsyth Park. 

“These events raise awareness and help residents get rid of products that are difficult to get rid of every other day of the year,” says Nash. 

In addition they removed hidden and hazardous materials found in these household items such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic. 

As Nash explains “These substances are great in the computer but are not good in the ground.”  ƒç


Chatham County E-Recycling

When: March 31st from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: Lake Mayer – 1850 East Montgomery Crossroads

What you can recycle: computers, printers, monitors, laptops, servers, keyboards, tape drives, hard drives, modems, electric motors, transformers, cell phones, telephones, calculators, power supplies, surge protectors, switch boxes, mice, televisions*, cables, sound equipment, AC adaptors, fax machines, network equipment, UPS, VCRs, tape players, cash registers, office shredders, copy machines, scanners, overhead projectors, test equipment, circuit cards, wires and docking stations. Data security is guaranteed.  There will be a $10 charge for recycling TVs.

For more information or to volunteer with the event:  David Nash, Environmental Program Coordinator, at 652-6856.

Other drop-off locations:

Tybee Island Recycling Center: 76 Polk St.

Garden City Recycling Center: Public Works Parking Lot

Ft. Stewart Recycling Center: BLDG 957 McFarland Ave.

Pooler Recycling Center: 1095 South Rogers St.

Hunter Army Airfield Recycling Center: BLDG 726 Wesley Ave. č


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