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Creative Recycling, Louisville, Ky.

Creative Recycling workers sort through material at the company's Louisville facility. The company began operations Jan. 1.

eScrap program under way

By Kevin Kinnaird
Closets and storage rooms in state office buildings across the commonwealth full of old computers could soon empty now that the state’s environmentally friendly recycling program has begun.
Jefferson County Public Schools will likely purge a number of old machines in storage as new ones arrive during summer months, according to Chuck Fleischer, the school district's director of safety and environmental services.
State government, last year contracted with Creative Recycling Systems of Tampa, Fla., to dispose of eScrap (end-of-life computer equipment, components and office electronics) in an environmentally friendly manner. The company pays state agencies to take the scrap off of their hands and arranges pick-up at the customer's site.
Recycling operations began at the company’s Louisville facility on Jan. 1. 
State government conservatively disposes of more than 5 million pounds of eScrap annually, but Creative will ensure that only 5 percent or less of that amount reaches the state’s landfills. The company will also sanitize data from all computers and reimburse state agencies for some recycled items based on quantity and/or weight.
The effort is a part of the state’s first-ever comprehensive strategy for energy independence called, “Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky’s Future.” The governor’s plan is to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent and the state’s carbon footprint by 50 percent over the next 15 years.
“I don’t think we’re going to get rich off this eScrap recycling, but it will fill a gap that we’ve been missing,” Fleischer said.  “We’ve talked about being green, and now we’re recycling a portion of our waste stream we couldn’t find a resource for.”
Jim Vaughn, environmental coordinator at JCPS, said the school district is expected to begin disposing of some of its eScrap this summer as new computers arrive.
“Students can now realize that obsolete computers and electronics don’t go into the landfill and don't end up in third world countries,” Vaughn said.

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Last Updated 3/31/2009