A budgetary decision by the Fremont County Board of Commissioners last fall to invest some dollars in electronic recycling has paid significant dividends. After repeatedly hearing stories of illegal dumping of television sets and other computer equipment across Fremont County the commissioners decided last fall to partner with the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments (UAACOG) Recycling Program. UAACOG Recycling Coordinator Beth Lenz told the commissioners that she was scheduling a couple of electronic recycling events in 2016 in Florence and Cañon City.
Because consumers have to pay often steep prices to recycle TV’s and computer equipment, the commissioners decided to budget $7,500 in 2016 to help subsidize the consumer cost of electronic recycling. Lenz reports the first recycling event in Florence on April 9th showed strong consumer response to get rid of their old electronics. Lenz said they collected 10,560 pounds of electronic equipment at the Florence event which was by far the most successful event UAACOG has ever held in Fremont County. Lenz said of that total, over half of it—6,254 pounds were old television sets.
The Florence event utilized $2,500 of the county’s budgeted funds which allowed consumers to pay half the going rate to recycle old TV sets and computers. Lenz said the other $5,000 in county funds will be used for a similar electronic recycling event in Cañon City next September.
Fremont County Commission Chairman Ed Norden said this is exactly the response the Board of Commissioners was hoping for by investing money from the county’s Recycling Fund that directly benefits consumers and addresses the problem with illegal dumping. He said often times the county ends up paying the cost anyway when TV sets are dumped along county roads. Norden also credited Fremont County Manager Sunny Bryant whose efforts in 2015 increased collections of tipping fees from the landfill and transfer station in Fremont County. Norden said the increased revenue in the Recycling Fund allowed the Board of Commissioners to budget the $7,500 for the electronic recycling subsidy.