CCA, Computer Consulting Associates in Lincoln, started a program
two years ago to help computer users get rid of their old, unwanted
or no-longer-working computers and electronics. The program also
helps prevent filling up our precious landfill space.
of this recycling drive, in conjunction with Logan County Joint
Solid Waste Management, has been nothing but astonishing in its
results. In the past two years, four huge truckloads of electronics
-- primarily computers, monitors, keyboards and even those pesky
mice that stop working for no good reason -- have been hauled away
Last Friday, a 24-foot truck with a 20-foot trailer in tow
stopped at CCA to pick up old, unwanted or defunct computer
components. When the twin unit left, both the truck and trailer were
Jim Youngquist, who owns CCA, explained why they had decided to
help recycle computers and related electronic components. "When
computers are thrown into our landfills, that's the way they stay.
They don't degrade, and components in them contain mercury and lead,
which are health risks," he explained. "We are in the business of
selling and repairing computers, so we thought it only made sense to
help recycle them as well."
The interest of individuals and companies in our area in trying
to help the environment has been nothing short of exceptional. The
recycled materials get a second chance at being something besides
permanent fill in our landfill. Youngquist ventures to estimate that
in just the last two years over 3,000 computers and monitors have
been sent to the recyclers, with a far greater number of keyboards
and mice, as well as hornet's nest after hornet's nest of wires and
"The materials (in a computer) can be used in a wide variety of
things," Youngquist said. Besides metals from the electronics being
reused, a law passed early this year allows for the state to use the
plastics from computers as aggregate in the building of Illinois
Although it can get harried around CCA just before the recycler
is called in, Youngquist, an avid environmentalist, feels good about
making sure Logan County's old computers don't fill our landfill. A
shed next to the offices gets filled first, and then back storage
rooms with shelving find computer after computer laid on top of
monitor after monitor until a full truckload, or truckloads, is
enough to warrant a trip from the recycling company to CCA.
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Everyone at CCA chips in with a little manual labor to get all the
electronics outside before the truck arrives, and they all pitch in
with a smile to help load the trucks when they do arrive. Everyone
at the business understands that not only are they helping to keep
these loads of non-biodegradable electronics out of our landfill,
but that they are also helping to recycle components that still have
a viable and important use in our society, without having to further
deplete raw materials.
CCA charges a very modest price for this service to
the community. Owners wishing to rid themselves of old laptops and
flat-panel screens are charged only $1 for their fee. Computer hard
drives are expensed at $2 per unit, and those old, cumbersome
monitors carry a $3 charge at drop-off. Keyboards and that old mouse
that doesn't work are accepted with no charge.
The rewards of helping with this recycling project
are obvious, but as mentioned previously, there is one secondary
perk that might be the greatest benefit of all. There is the
possibility that someday you might find the satisfaction of thinking
you might be running your car or truck over that old computer that
gave you fits. Might we suggest that thought is priceless.
Individuals or companies that want to help prevent
our local landfill from becoming filled with computer components can
call 735-2677 or stop by Computer Consulting Associates at 601
Keokuk Street in Lincoln for further information.
Editor's note: CCA is the parent company of Lincoln