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E-Waste Recycling Season Starts at the University of Utah

Bob Nelson

The first electronic recycling event of the year was a popular spot Friday morning on the campus of the University of Utah with a steady stream of vehicles lining up to be unloaded. The Salt Lake County Health Department’s program has recycled 2 point 3 million pounds of old computers, cellphones, and televisions since it began three years ago. Dan Moore is the Household Hazardous Waste Program Coordinator for the Department. He says these old devises contain tons of both toxic and useful materials.

“It’s better for the health of everybody if this is properly handed. So there’s mercury, there’s cadmium, there’s heavy metals, there’s brominated plastics and all that can be broken down and properly recycled," says Moore. "Some of it can be used in other components making things cheaper.”

Moore says the health department has twelve E-waste drop-off events planned through the summer months with all costs of the program covered by the Samsung Corporation. He says Electronic Recyclers International handles the actual process as safely and securely as any company in the world. 

Credit Bob Nelson
ERI crews busy unloading hard drives, towers and keyboards from resident's truck to be recycled. Hard drives are rendered unusable by "punching". The process pierces the disc so information from it is unrecoverable.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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