Commack residents who live in Huntington Township can now schedule curbside pick-up service for their electronic waste, the town announced Tuesday.
Town Supervisor Frank Petrone and members of the Town Council said the new service will help keep hazardous materials out of the sanitation system. Instead, items will be sent to a vendor specializing in electronic waste.
"The town's proactive stance in the proper and convenient disposal of e-waste puts Huntington two years ahead of schedule," Petrone said. As of Jan. 1, 2015, the state will bar the disposal of covered electronic equipment.
Town Board members also credited Lloyd Harbor resident Jeff Bartels, who often challenges Town Board members at meetings, for pushing the idea.
Residents have been able to drop their unwanted electronics at the town recycling center. But not everyone does, the town acknowledges, with people frequently just tossing the items into regular trash.
Bartels and members cited the dangers of some of the elements, including lead, mercury, beryllium and cadmium, that can be found in e-waste, including the 330,000 pounds of e-waste collected at the recycling center last year.
"I believe with our new curbside pickup program, that number can be boosted dramatically," Petrone said.
Residents can continue to take their e-waste to the recycling center but the pickup service is designed to make disposal easier.
"This is another example of the Town of Huntington's at your service program," Councilman Mark Mayoka said. "We're trying to be in the forefront. And It also shows that residents can have an impact. This has been a long time in the making."
Among the items identified for pickup are: computers, televisions, cathode ray tubs, small servers, computer pheripherals, monitora, keyboard, fax machines, coument scanners, VCRs, digital music players, converter boxes, cable or satellit receivers and game consoles.
But size matters. "We won't come and pick up just a single cellphone" which could be disposed of with regular trash, Petrone said.
After praising Bartels, Councilwoman Susan Berland said, "It's a great day for the Town of Huntington. We've been talking for a long time aout this. It's time to go forth and recycle."
Residents are invited to call 631-351-3239 to arrange for pickup. They can also find information on how to purge equipment of personal information to prevent identity theft, Petrone said.
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Berland said the town would soon post a video on its website showing people how to safeguard their identity when disposing of electronic items.