Data Media Recycling Program

2013 NACo Achievement Award Winner

El Paso County, Colo., CO

About the Program

Category: County Resiliency (Best in Category)

Year: 2013

In the 80’s and early 90's, everyone had audio cassette tapes, Video Home System (VHS) tapes, or Betamax (Beta) videocassette tapes, and lots of them. They are bulky and of mediocre quality, but at the time they were cutting edge technology that the world embraced. The problem is they are difficult to recycle, and not just these tapes but other data storage devices as well. Citizens want to recycle these items and it can be done. In March of 2012, the El Paso County Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHWF) began a program to accept this category of items, termed data media, from residents. This group of objects is recycled through a local vendor that utilizes people with disabilities to properly and safely disassemble the items into recyclable parts. The vendor provides the Gaylord boxes to collect the data media, and then picks up the boxes on an as-needed basis. After the boxes are weighed at the HHWF, the vendor charges a minimal fee to transport the material. Public response to the newly implemented program has been very positive, resulting in approximately a quarter of a ton of material collected per month during the first ten months of the program.

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