County will accept 'e-waste' free of charge as of Nov. 1Oct 21, 2015 By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
An event to clean up electronic waste was so successful the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District has decided to start accepting the material for free starting Nov. 1.
Though e-waste is costly to dispose of, the move is expected to save the district in the long run and provides a benefit to residents.
The district had charged a fee for disposing of electronics but waived those fees during clean-up events for hazardous and electronic waste.
More than 300 residents across Fremont County participated in the most recent event June 13 bringing 99,000 pounds of electronic waste and 345 gallons of chemicals to district facilities. The cost to Solid Waste of disposing of those materials was $46,000.
Residents were bringing so much electronic waste to the free days Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District superintendent Andy Frey concluded many were stockpiling the items until the next clean up event came along.
He also found many people were including electronic waste in their household garbage, and it was finding its way into the landfill.
Electronic waste contains harmful metals, such as lead, and must be disposed of under specific procedures.
"If those materials are in the landfill they could contaminate groundwater and cost the district and taxpayers a lot of money in the future," Frey said in an interview.
Seeing the interest from the public and the potential for expenses from inadvertently dumping harmful metals in its landfills, the district decided to start accepting electronic waste for free starting Nov. 1.
"We thought it was in our best interest, and a way to give back to the community, to do this," Frey said.
Frey expects allowing free disposal of the material to cost the district between $25,000 and $50,000 a year.
"We believe that expending these costs now is going to offset a higher cost in the future," Frey said.
Residents should be sure to separate their electronic waste from other material they are dumping because the district will ask them to put the different materials in different receptacles, Frey said.
Electronic waste will be accepted for free at the Riverton bale station, Sand Draw Landfill, Dubois Landfill and Lander Landfill.