SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 7, 2014

Letter: Beverly event moved hundreds of pounds from waste stream

To the editor:

Beverly Recycles, formally known as the Beverly Solid Waste Management Committee, would like to publicly thank all of the volunteers and participating citizens who helped make its annual Electronics and Styrofoam Collection on May 3 at Beverly High School a great success. Volunteer members from the committee included Sandy Burgess, Maureen Cronan, Toni Musante, Connie Krueger, Norrie Gall and former Chairwoman Julie DeSilva. This event, which benefits the Beverly High School Football Program and the SWMC Education Fund, would not have been possible without the invaluable assistance of coach Dan Bauer, several assistant coaches and members of the Beverly High football team. The team members helped unload from more than 225 cars approximately 140 TVs, 150 monitors (including laptops), 40 air conditioners, 15 dehumidifiers, 126 CPUs, 88 printers, 28 microwave ovens, 75 VCRs and 21 vacuum cleaners. Additionally, hundreds of small electronic and computer accessories, such as radios, scanners, telephones, cellphones, keyboards and “mice” were collected.

The average desktop (CRT) monitor contains nearly four pounds of lead. Printed circuit boards and cellphones contain antimony, chromium, lead, arsenic, beryllium and cadmium ... all of which are extremely hazardous and must be kept out of the waste stream. Collection events such as the one we have each year in Beverly are a small but vital effort to recycle these items and raise the consciousness of all citizens as to the importance of the proper disposal and recycling of all household electronics.

Members of the football team also helped to unload more than 20 cubic yards of Styrofoam from cars. Styrofoam is a form of polystyrene that can be recycled, but it is not picked up by most municipal curbside recycling programs. Styrofoam should not be discarded with our trash, since its incineration results in the emission of very toxic gases. ReFoamIt Corporation, of Framingham, which assisted with our Styrofoam collection at this event, recycles Styrofoam on a large scale (more than 50,000 pounds per month), converting it into polystyrene pellets and, in turn, items such as picture frames, car bumpers and other rigid plastics. ReFoamIt sponsors a Styrofoam recycling event at Lifoam Industries at Centennial Park in Peabody on the third Saturday of each month. Please see the city of Beverly website, under Trash & Recycling, for more details.

The presentation of our donation to the Beverly High School football program will be made at a future meeting of the Beverly City Council.

Charlie Perlo

Chair, Beverly SWMC

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