On-site electronics shredding

Drop-off, pick-up programs make waste disposal effortless for local recycler
By: Lauren Weber The Press-Tribune
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– Editor’s note: This is the first of three articles in honor of Earth Day, sharing ways residents and businesses can reduce their impact on the environment and build a greener city. Dianna Sorby calls it a secret that residents and businesses need to get in on. It’s a company that prides itself on being green and it’s right in Roseville’s backyard. It’s called Sims Recycling Solutions where televisions, printers, monitors and stereo equipment get shrunk down to the size of a quarter. “We completely recycle electronic products,” said Sorby, Sims account executive. With the national celebration of Earth Day to be held April 22 and local Earth Day events taking place April 19, there may never be a better time to let residents in on the Sims secret. With two massive shredding units on site, Sims can grind up large equipment within minutes. First everything is divided into boxes based on material, then by size. This determines a heavy versus light grind size. “It goes through two grinders, the 4-inch grind and the 2-inch grind,” Sorby said. From there the pieces get broken down further through the granulator. Once the material is thin enough to slip through fingers, it gets sent out for recycling. The glass gets shipped off and transformed into china, while other material gets reincarnated as playground flooring, Sorby said. About 100 big boxes of material go through the shredder each night and about four large trucks full of material get shipped out daily, according to Sorby. Seems like a simple process that helps out Mother Nature, but Sorby said it’s a procedure some business owners and local residents aren’t aware of. But Sims prides itself on being a true recycler, she said. “We do what we say and we say what we do,” she said. Sorby added that companies and residents who use Sims for recycling know exactly what happens to their equipment. “There is a huge difference between what is a collector and what is a recycler,” she said. A collector picks up electronics from owners or companies and sells them to others. The owner in return has no idea where their items end up – it could be in the landfill or it could be repaired and resold. But in either case, it might not end up where the owner wanted or expected. At Sims, people can watch their items as they pass through the shredders via television monitors or a requested recorded CD mailed out. In addition to the environmental impact recycling electronics has, it also has potential to eliminate identify theft, Sorby said. If a hard drive is collected, the information is easily accessible if not erased. But if recycled, the information is securely lost and has no potential of reaching the wrong hands, she added. Because the cost of throwing electronics in the garbage can be detrimental to the environment, Sims even provides a free electronics drop-off the first Friday of every month. Locals fill out a recycling form, bring their old electronic equipment and drop it into the marked boxes. Sims isn’t the only business offering its services for recycling. The city of Roseville is doing its part to provide convenient ways for residents to dispose of hazardous waste and electronics. Through their free pick-up program, residents can dispose of batteries, printers, computers, cell phones, radios, motor oil and printer cartridges properly. “It’s about making it convenient for residents,” said Sean Bigley, administrative analyst for environmental utilities with the city of Roseville. “When the city picks it up, we know that the waste is disposed of properly.” From the city’s pick-up program, the electronic waste gets transported to Sims, while the hazardous material gets taken to a household hazardous waste facility, Bigley said. Electronic waste doesn’t just include oversize electronics. Many businesses within the city have formed a household battery drop-off program where grocery stores, schools and electronic shops provide customers with drop off tubes at store entrances that are collected and disposed. Whether it’s batteries, broken televisions or motor oil, the city of Roseville has it covered, with drop-off and pick-up programs galore that ensures a greener place to live.