As part of a new agreement between the Shelby Township Solid Waste and Recycling Committee (SWRC) and GreenTech Recyclers, the popular Electronics Recycling event will once again be free of charge to residents throughout metro Detroit.
Because of changes in compensation from appliance manufacturers in the state in 2016, changes were needed to maintain the event in its previous, monthly schedule. These changes included the addition of a $5 fee for users and a $10 fee for Cathode Ray Tube televisions and monitors.
The new agreement with GreenTech, and the reduction in the number of collection dates from 11 to four, negated the need for these fees.
“Everyone involved in the program, or anyone who has used the program, knows that it is very important to our residents and community,” said Township Trustee Lynn Wilhelm, who serves on the SWRC. “Being able to return this event to a free collection is something our committee takes a lot of pride in.”
The key to returning the program to a free event was reducing the number of collections for a calendar year. Previously, the event was held on the last Saturday of every month with the exception of December. Now, collections will be quarterly with the first event of 2018 taking place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. January 27 on the township’s campus at 52700 Van Dyke Ave.
Subsequent collections will take place April 28, July 28 and Oct. 27.
“My hat goes off to Lynn Wilhelm and her fellow members of the recycling committee for getting this done,” Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said. “I know this is a very popular and important event for our community, and to be able to make it a free, popular and important event for participants is a very big deal.”
Wilhelm, SWRC Chairperson Marsha Livemore and Parks, Recreation & Maintenance Director Joe Youngblood met with officials from Greentech, which oversaw the township’s electronics collections in 2016 and 2017, to try and find a way to waive the fees and still keep in place features such as the “give-back program” that provides charitable donations for nonprofits that staff the events. Under the new agreement, Shelby Township incurs a $5,000 fee for each collection event, which covers all costs of the event that were previously covered by the $5 flat fee as well as the $10 charge for additional CRT screens, which can cost between $50 and $750 per screen to recycle.
“The cost for recycling the old CRT screens with lead and other toxic metals remains very high,” Wilhelm said. “But, we wanted to make sure this event that keeps these toxins out of our landfills and groundwater was available to our residents. We negotiated the rate with GreenTech and part of that negotiation was making our event available to as many possible recyclers as possible, so GreenTech allowed us to open the event to everyone in and around Shelby Township.”
“We hope, by removing those fees, we will see renewed participation in the program, and, if we have more than 1,000 residents per event, we will actually be saving money,” Wilhelm said. “Even if it is on a slightly reduced schedule, this event remains of utmost importance. After all, if we’re not committed to the safety of our community and environment, then what are we committed to?”