Recycling responsibly by the ton: Unwanted electronics collected for recycling

Hugh McLaurin (far right), franchise owner of Securis IT Asset Auditing, Recycling and Destruction Company, and Suzanne Kopich (left), environmental scientist at the Directorate of Public Works, collect personal electronics from community members outside the Fort Meade Commissary on Nov. 29. (Photo by Tynise Jones)

Whether is was a broken TV, an outdated computer or unused landline telephones gathering dust, community members disposed of their unwanted electronics at Fort Meade’s Environmental Electronic Recycling Data Destruction event.

For three hours on Nov. 29, Securis IT Asset Auditing, Recycling and Destruction Company collected 2,250 pounds of personal electronics and cables outside the Fort Meade Commissary.

“The Securis company is located all over the region, but I personally cover the state of Maryland,” said Securis franchise owner Hugh McLaurin. “Our certifications require us to be 100 percent recycling. …

“Each piece of electronics is handled differently. Most of them will be torn down into their base materials, such as metals and plastics, and then sent into recycling.”

Securis also offers a residential drop-off site at its Elkridge facility from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of every month.

This is the second year that electronics recycling took place on Fort Meade. It was previously offered last spring and fall.

Fort Meade’s Directorate of Public Works’ Environmental Division is aiming to continue this event at least twice a year, said Suzanne Kopich, environmental scientist of DPW.

“This is a wonderful event,” Kopich said. “People come out with truckloads of equipment that they stored for years, not knowing what to do with it. By having this company that will shred, destroy and recycle the materials is great.”

There was no charge for most items. However, disposal fees of $10 to $15 were charged for larger electronics such as computer monitors, televisions, back-up batteries and hard drives.

Everyone had their own way of transferring their electronics over to the huge Securis recycling truck. Some carried them in bags or wheeled them over in shopping carts, while others simply pulled their vehicles up behind the truck and unloaded from there.

Linda Brown, who is retired from the Air Force, lugged bags of old remotes from the parking lot to the truck.

“I’ve just been collecting different remotes over the years and never had a place or time to get rid of them, so this is great,” Brown said.

Sara Sprague of Meuse Forest filled a shopping cart with an old printer, a DVD/VCR combo, three routers and a reading tablet.

“I’m big on recycling,” Sprague said. “My parents are from Kentucky and they don’t have a recycling program, so it breaks my heart every time I throw out a plastic container.”

Sprague was a bit upset to see her things go, but was excited about disposing of them properly.

“The printer was actually one of the first things I bought with my own money when I lived with my parents,” she said. “It lasted me about 12 years. Now it’s time for an upgrade.”

Richelle Nolan of Severn, who had served in the Air Force, was happy she remembered to mark this event in her calendar as she donated a variety of electronics.

“I’m donating a bunch of random stuff that my husband and I collected over the years from random moves,” Nolan said. “This is just a bunch of stuff that you hold onto for no reason, and we figured well we just can’t throw it away.

“We’re very conscious of getting rid of things the proper way instead of just throwing it in the trash.”

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