City, recycling firm host electronic disposal event

Published 9:31 am Monday, April 18, 2016

With the latest and greatest smartphone, tablet or smartwatch released on a near daily basis, many of the country’s more connected households have dozens of digital causalities scattered about.

Dowagiac residents who find themselves with a similar dilemma will have a chance to solve their 21st Century issues later this month.

The city is once again partnering with St. Joseph’s Green Earth Electronics Recycling for a single-day electronics recycling event, which will take place from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at the city parking lot located at the northwest corner of Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. During that time period, crews with Green Earth will be accepting any used and/or unwanted electronic devices brought to them by local residents, which will then be transported back to the recycling company’s facility for processing.

Items that will be accepted during the event include:

• Computers

• Laptops

• Monitors

• TVs

• Telephones

• Cameras

• DVD players

• Cords/cables

• Printers

• Toner cartridges

• Cell phones

• Refrigerators

• Air conditioners

• Appliances

• Any other electronic or corded items

A hazardous waste fee will be assessed for any monitors or TVs turned in, of $10 and $20 respectively. All other items will be accepted free of charge.

The upcoming recycling day will be the third one hosted in Dowagiac in as many years, said City Administrative Assistant Sue Watson. While events in years past have been coordinated through Dowagiac’s energy optimization partner, Efficiency United, city hall set up a time with Green Earth directly for this year’s program due in part to demand from local residences, Watson said.

The event occurs during a perfect time, as that Wednesday falls in the middle of the city’s annual spring cleanup week, which takes place April 25-29, Watson said.

“Everyone is already cleaning out their houses and garages, so if they run across any old appliances there’s a way to rid of them without throwing them out,” Watson said.

Previous recycling events have been successful, with a steady flow of residents dropping off old electronics throughout the day, Watson said.

With the rapid progress of technology and prices for common electronics lower than ever, it is quite common for people to upgrade their devices regularly or simply purchase new equipment when an older one breaks down, Watson said. Instead of allowing these unwanted devices to go to waste, people should instead consider recycling them, to allow their materials to find a new life, she added.

“It’s not ending up in a landfill,” Watson said. “It’s getting repurposed, reutilized and recycled.”

Businesses looking to recycle old electronics in bulk are asked to preregister with Green Earth prior to the recycling day by emailing or calling (269) 326-1232. People wanting additional information can contact the city at or at (269) 782-8200.