BANGOR, Maine — Looking for a free and easy place to drop off old or unwanted electronic devices? The Bangor Mall is the place to be this weekend.
Ewaste Solutions, an Auburn-based company, will sponsor an event from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the parking area near Sears. Among the items that will be accepted are: televisions, computers and monitors, printers, copiers, fax machines and phones. Among those that will not be gathered are: refrigerators, washers and dryers or other Freon-rich appliances.
A similar event was held last December in Bangor and was enormously successful, according to Mike Doran with Ewaste Solutions, which holds events periodically throughout the state in partnership with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
“We had a tremendous turnout from the local community,” he said. “We try to build events around seasonal opportunities. This week featured Earth Day, but it’s also a popular time for spring cleaning.”
Electronic items cannot be recycled regularly in most communities, and often things end up in the trash that should not be there, Doran said. Used electronics contribute numerous potentially hazardous materials to the waste stream. Televisions and computer monitors often contain lead. Other toxins include mercury, cadmium and phosphorus coating, which could be released into the environment when trash is disposed of or burned.
Maine became the first state in the nation to require that manufacturers of TVs and computer monitors share the cost of disposing of used items. More than a dozen other states have followed suit with similar regulations.
Doran said his company takes in items, breaks them down in a controlled environment and resells the materials.
“It’s no different than any other recycling, except for a few different environmental restrictions,” he said.
Participants looking to drop off items Saturday will be required to show ID proving they are Maine residents, but there are no defined limits. Doran did say that the event is geared toward residents.
Businesses that have large amounts of electronic waste can contact Ewaste Solutions at 449-1709 to make other arrangements. More information also is available on the company’s Web site, www.ewastemaine.com.