Ask Eartha Steward |

Ask Eartha Steward

High Country Conservation Center
High Country Conservation Center

To continue the cleaning theme from last week, this week we’ll explore what to do with technotrash like empty CD jewel cases and other stuff that clutters your home or workplace.

Unfortunately, CD jewel cases are not accepted at any Summit County Recycling Drop-off Centers. Jewel cases contain #3 and/or #6 plastic numbers rendering them unacceptable to be put in any Summit County Recycling bin. The cases will contaminate and compromise the quality of the #1, 2, 4, 5 and 7 plastic bottles, bags and tubs that can be recycled. When in doubt leave it out!

Luckily there is a company that makes it easy and affordable to recycle technotrash like, CD jewel cases, videotapes, game cartridges, CD-RWs, CDs and more. The company is GreenDisk,, and the shipping options for jewel cases depends upon the condition of the case.

If the case is scratched or cracked, it’s advisable to step on the case to compress it for condensed shipping because cases that are damaged in any way, along with used CDs and DVDs, will be shredded and consolidated into 40,000 pound (lb) blocks.

Then the blocks of plastic are sent to an EPA granted facility or traded on the regrind plastics commodity market where they are made into the products, like car and appliance parts, or are used as a compound for making other plastics. But, if the jewel cases are in pristine condition, don’t ruin them, those will be refurbished and re-enter the marketplace.

Like with a lot of the environmental efforts we make, there is a fee attached to this service, and it is well worth paying in order to keep toxins out of the landfill. For 20 lbs or less of technotrash, use the Technotrash Pack-It Service for $6.95, which can actually accommodate up to 30 lbs of technotrash (at $.30 per extra pound over the 20 lbs). All you need to know is the weight of your package ” call 800-305-DISK (3475) if you need help estimating the weight ” and then order the Pack-It service on their website, box the technotrash and pay for shipping to the company.

If you have more than 30 lbs of technotrash, the Technotrash Can is a great option because you pay only one fee for a collection box, shipping fee and processing of the media, ranging from Standard to Tall sizes. The Standard Technotrash Can holds up to 35 lbs of technotrash and is $29.95. The Tall Technotrash Can accommodates up to 70 lbs of technotrash, and is $39.95. The Tall Can is a great option for one’s own technotrash, plus a friend or two; then you can split the cost. By using GreenDisk’s services you can feel good about respecting the environment and supporting the reuse and recycling markets.

One more tidbit ” to recycle computer monitors, CPUs, laptops and televisions locally, take those to the Summit County Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP), up at the landfill. Those specific electronics are accepted Mondays through Fridays, 7 a.m.

to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon; the facility is closed Sundays and holidays. The fees have recently been reduced to $5 per monitor, CPU or laptop, and $10 per TV; please make sure to always take the mentioned items to a proper recycling program because they contain lead and other toxins that should never be put in the landfill. Peripherals and other electronics not mentioned above, that are the size of a microwave or smaller, are free to recycle in the Scrap Metal Bin at the Frisco Drop-off Center. Call (970) 668-5703 for details and questions.

By the way, don’t forget to stop by the Earth Day Action Fair this Sunday at the Frisco Recreation Building. The fair is taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with numerous booths, Kid’s Planting at 10 a.m. and other ongoing kids’ activities, Eartha’s Green Cleaning Workshop at 11 a.m. and much more. All the day’s festivities are free, so come on down and celebrate a clean, healthy planet, while rubbing elbows with Summit County’s finest eco-folks.

Eartha Steward is written by Carly Wier, Holly Loff, and Beth Orstad, consultants on all things eco and chic at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation in our mountain community. Eartha believes that you can walk gently on our planet, even if you’re wearing stylie shoes.

Submit questions to Eartha at with Ask Eartha as the subject or to High Country Conservation Center, PO Box 4506, Frisco, CO 80443.

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