Got an old TV? Westmoreland Cleanways is taking them again
Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling has resumed its drop-off collection of old television sets and other unwanted electronics after the much-in-demand service was suspended for about a year.
Executive Director Ellen Keefe said the nonprofit had a “soft opening” for its reactivated electronics collection March 19 and posted an official notice on its Facebook page Wednesday to let area residents know they can once more bring old TV sets during regular business hours to the Cleanways headquarters off Route 30 in Unity.
In the past, when companies that accept the TVs for recycling cut back on shipments, television sets began to pile up outside Cleanways' recycling center at 113 Innovative Lane. When the site was hit by arson April 12, state officials and Cleanways agreed that the electronics program would have to cease until all storage and packaging of electronics for shipment could take place inside a secured structure.
When Cleanways' proposals to move to a larger facility with more interior storage space — first at a site near Yukon and then at a former machine shop near Pleasant Unity — didn't pan out, the organization came up with a plan to make electronics drop-offs feasible again on Innovative Lane.
To make room for storing TVs inside, Cleanways can no longer accommodate drive-through drop-offs in its 3,400-square-foot recycling center, Keefe said. Vehicles will have to pull to the side of the road to unload items.
“It won't be quite as convenient as the drive-through. That took up a lot of room that we can't afford right now. But my staff will still help to unload the vehicles,” she said.
Cleanways received permission from the state Department of Environmental Protection on March 9 to resume electronics collections at the Unity site, Keefe said. The nonprofit packaged and arranged shipment of items that had been amassed by local municipalities before opening the drop-off service once more to the public.
Through an arrangement with JVS Environmental of Somerset County, which processes other electronics Cleanways collects, the Unity-based organization's store of TVs are shipped to various processing companies — including ones based in Ohio and Georgia.
Because of the lengthy suspension of its electronics collections, Cleanways is working to get caught up with its normal schedule of shipments to processors, with each tractor-trailer hauling at least 20,000 pounds of old TVs.
“We just shipped one this morning, and we have two scheduled for next week,” Keefe said Friday.
Cleanways' Facebook page recorded more than 20,000 hits from Thursday through midday Friday, demonstrating the high level of interest in the resumed TV collections.
“I waited on 10 people in an hour, and each had at least one or two TVs,” Keefe said.
Cleanways accepts at no charge any type or size of television set, from bulky console models to modern flatscreens, Keefe said. But, she noted, a fee must be collected if a TV is smashed and its outer casing isn't intact.
The center is open to the public noon to 5 p.m. Mondays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and 8:30 a.m. to noon the second Saturday of each month. Leaving items at the facility at other times is considered illegal dumping.
Cleanways also accepts at no charge several types of paper and cardboard, separated by type; lead acid batteries; used motor oil; scrap metal and reusable shoes. Fees apply for other items including tires and appliances containing Freon.
Visit westmorelandcleanways.org for details.