Electronics not working? Recycle them!

CONWAY, S.C. (WPDE) - For many Americans it's often out with the old and in with the new, but tossing out old electronics in the trash is creating a problem.

"People don't know," said Horry County Solid Waste Authority spokesperson Kendra Hooks. "That's why we're here today promoting, letting people know that electronic waste along with other things are recyclable."

According to a Clean Air Council study, the average American generates 4.5 pounds of waste per day and less than a quarter of that is recycled.

On Saturday, the Solid Waste Authority teamed up with Best Buy to push an initiative to recycle e-waste in honor of America Recycles Day which was November 15.

To throw away electronics is against the law in South Carolina. Last July, lawmakers banned the practice after learning about the harmful impacts e-waste poses on the environment.

"All of electronic waste cannot be disposed of into your garbage," said Hooks. "It has to be recycled."

Electronic waste could contain harmful chemicals like mercury, and some television monitors operate with plasma gas which is harmful. Also, the electronic could contain rare metals like copper inside.

"There's a finite amount of material that we have and that can only go around for so long," said Best Buy Geek Squad Agent Matthew Jenness. "As long as we consume these devices we may not be able to have that particular item in the future if we don't recycle them, if we just throw them away improperly."

You can recycle unwanted electronics at your nearest recycling center, and if it plugs in, it's recyclable.

"TV's, computers, iPod, iPad, pretty much anything like that," said Jessen. "You bring it down if it's not working we can go ahead and recycle it for you."

"With the amount of new items that come out every single year, everybody wants to upgrade to the latest and greatest technology," said Jessen. "When they do that, it just creates a lot of technological waste, and if we don't recycle these responsibly, then our land fills are just going to grow and grow and grow. We're going to have a lot of issues due to our consumer culture."