MARQUETTE - The days of just throwing away electronic goods are over.
To make it easier to dispose of unwanted products, Marquette is hosting a free collection of old and obsolete equipment from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Marquette Public Works building at 850 W. Baraga Ave.
The event is open to all Marquette County residents, including individuals, businesses, schools, churches and community organizations.
Disposing of a refrigerator, for example, is not the same as wadding up a piece of paper and tossing it into the trash can.
"Things, for instance our appliances like refrigerators and freezers, have freon, which is considered a hazardous waste," said Natasha Koss, program manager of the Superior Watershed Partnership, which with the city is sponsoring the biannual event.
Accepted at this collection will be most consumer electronics and home office equipment, including computers, monitors, laptops, printers, television sets, cell phones, stereo equipment, microwave ovens and "white goods" such as refrigerators, dehumidifiers and air-conditioners.
Cameras, car batteries, power tools and telephone systems also will be taken.
Koss noted that items containing freon, such as refrigerators, will be accepted for a $25 fee to cover freon removal and recycling. All other electronics will be accepted free.
Goods containing mercury, broken glass, alkaline batteries, any liquids, fluorescent bulbs and smoke detectors will not be accepted, among other items.
For a complete list of accepted and non-accepted items, visit the Superior Watershed Partnership website at www.superiorwatersheds.org.
"There was a such a demand for this," Koss said.
Koss acknowledged there is increased public awareness of proper electronic disposal, which can involve toxins. Old electronics, too, have parts and materials, such as copper, that still have value, and these can be extracted and reused.
Sara Frazier, administrative assistant with the partnership, said volunteers are needed to help at the event and they can show up shortly before the collection. Anyone interested in volunteering can call Frazier at 228-6095.
"Mostly, it'll be for people who can unload electronics from cars," Frazier said.
The company 5R Processors will haul away items collected Saturday.
Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.