Residents soon can rid themselves of those outdated electronics collecting dust in their homes.
Aiken, in conjunction with the city's Environmental Committee, will hold its first electronic waste recycling day.
"We've had a lot of (questions) from our residents on what to do with this type of stuff," said Tim Coakley, the assistant director of the public works department.
Electronic waste includes computers, televisions, video cassette recorders, stereos, copiers and fax machines.
"It is estimated that nearly 250 million computers will become obsolete in the next five years," Mr. Coakley said.
He also said 130 million cell phones are expected to be discarded annually.
Most of these items contain hazardous materials such as heavy metals and toxic organic compounds that can contaminate groundwater.
Cleanlites, a recycling company based in Greenville, S.C., will collect, dismantle and recycle the materials.
Mr. Coakley said residents will be required to pay a fee to recycle their equipment. He said the fee will be based on the weight and the type of materials being recycled.
"There's no doubt people could get rid of this stuff for free, but we're hoping they'll choose to do the right thing for the environment," Mr. Coakley said.
He also said the company would accept batteries, light bulbs and thermostats.
"They'll take anything related to electronics," he said.
He said the recycling day will be set up as a drive-through operation. City personnel will take recyclables from vehicles and residents will pay their fees directly to the vendor.
"They should never even have to get out of the car," Mr. Coakley said, adding that the event will be held regardless of weather conditions.
Reach Betsy Gilliland at (803) 648-1395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: E-Waste Recycling Day
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: The Home Depot, 1117 Whiskey Road, Aiken
CONTACT: (803) 642-7610, or e-mail email@example.com