Demanufacturing site marks America Recycles Day

Originally Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2012, 9:10 pm
Last Updated: Nov. 15, 2012, 11:44 pm
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By Sarah Hayden,

The 16th annual America Recycles Day was marked Thursday by tours of the Scott County Electronic Demanufacturing Facility in Davenport.

The facility, at 1048 E. 59th St., Davenport, accepts cellphones, televisions, computers, monitors, VCR tapes, DVD players and radios. The items are "demanufactured" or disassembled to recycle parts.

According to facility officials, more than 1.8 million pounds of electronic waste was recycled last year, with about two-thirds of it coming from residences. Since opening in 2005, it has processed more than 9 million pounds of electronic waste.

In the week ending on Oct. 20, 39,173 pounds of electronic waste was accepted from 136 residents and 16 business customers.

Items containing data -- such as cellphones, hard drives and VCR tapes -- are locked up until they can be shredded and recycled.Computer circuit boards are removed and sold to precious metal refineries for their gold, silver and lead solder.

"Anybody we sell our commodities to is audited," said facility supervisor Brian Briggs. "We make sure it's being recycled properly and not going back into a landfill."

The facility also ensures toxic materials are handled properly. There is lead is cathode ray tubes from old televisions -- last year the facility recycled more than 658 tons of such electronics -- and mercury is contained in florescent light bulbs.

Separated items are crushed in a massive, two-story shredder that can process more than 4,000 pounds per hour. Pieces are then bundled on pallets for sale. The plastic shells that once surrounded TV sets are recycled into products such as park benches, decking and playground equipment.

Next door, at the Scott Area Recycling Center, newspapers and plastic containers residents have placed in curbside containers are sorted. Ten men stand at a conveyor belt, quickly pulling out any paper product other than newspapers and sorting it into bins.

Scott County residents recycle about 28 tons of newspaper every day.

"Newspapers are one of the most valuable commodities we sell," said communication coordinator Brandy Welvaert. "It's the item we get the most of weight-wise."

Nearby, bales of crushed plastic containers wait to be shipped to facilities where they will be melted and remanufactured. An education room with a large window lets visitors view the recycling process. Examples of products made from recycled plastic --pens, toothbrushes, fill for pillows, clothing and carpeting -- fill the room.

"Every second grader in Davenport has been through our recycling center," Ms. Welvaert said.

It costs nothing for residents of Scott and Rock Island counties to drop off items at the facilities.Residents from other counties can use the facility by paying 20 cents per pound for items with screens, such as TVs and computers.

Scott County residents also can place items curbside for pickup on bulk trash day. Legislation passed last year makes it illegal for Illinois residents to place electronic waste curbside.

Refrigerators and other appliances are not considered electronic waste, and are taken to the county landfill for recycling.

The landfill also has a swap shop where almost anything can be dropped off to be re-used, said Ms. Welvaert. Examples include half-empty paint cans, cleaning fluids and garden items.

The facilities are busiest in October and November when people are doing fall cleaning, Ms. Welvaert said, and again in January when homes need more room for new Christmas purchases.

What They Take:

Here's a list of materials that can be recycled or dropped off from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Waste Commission of Scott County's Electronic Demanufacturing Site, 1048 E. 59th St., Davenport:

-- Televisions

-- Computers and related components

-- Stereos

-- Printer ink cartridges.

Items can be dropped off free of charge for residents of Scott and Rock Island counties. For businesses and those who live in other counties, there is a charge of 20 cents per pound for TVs, monitors and laptops. All other electronic waste is accepted for free.

Glass, unwanted medication and sharps also can be recycled at the Waste Commission of Scott County, free to residents of Scott and Rock Island counties, without an appointment.

An appointment is required to drop off cleaning chemicals/supplies, paint, pesticides, lawn chemicals and fertilizers, motor oil, oil filters, antifreeze, gasoline, CFL light bulbs and fluorescent tubes.

The Scott Area Recycling Center accepts number 1 and 2 plastics such as water bottles, cleaners, milk containers and shampoo bottles. Acceptable paper products include newspapers, magazines, egg cartons, phone books and food containers such as cereal boxes.

Gift wrap, or items with grease stains or food residue such as pizza boxes contaminate the recycling process and cannot be accepted.

To view a complete list of acceptable materials or to make an appointment, visit or call (563) 381-1300.


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