EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 15, 2013

'Freecycle' Day for two local towns

By Alex Lippa

---- — Hampstead and Atkinson residents looking to dispose of their old computers and television sets this weekend are in luck. They can do it free of charge.

Windfield Alloy has teamed up with the two towns to sponsor a recycling day for computer equipment, general electronics and scrap metal. For the sixth straight year, the event will be held at the recycling company’s headquarters on the Hampstead-Atkinson town line.

“We do it in good faith with the towns,” Windfield Alloy General Manager Darren Ball said. “We are in their backyard so it is our way of saying thanks to them for letting us be here,”

Ball said up to 300 people have shown up to take advantage of the annual event.

While monitors will be accepted for free, there will be a charge to dispose of refrigerators and air conditioners.

“Those contain Freon, so we charge $10 per unit to dispose of them,” Ball said.

A $10 will also apply if a household brings in more than two televisions.

But that is still a better deal than what other towns offer. In Derry, residents can take their electronics to the transfer station whenever it is open — for a fee.

“For televisions, we charge $15 for a television under 26 inches and $25 for televisions over 26 inches,” Public Works Director Mike Fowler said. “It’s a fair price for the town to recover the cost it takes to dispose of it.”

Fowler said the town has a contract with New England Resource Recovery Association and the town pays about 12 cents per pound on recycled items.

Windham also has a regular disposal program but also holds a special collection day each May to benefit the Windham PTA.

“It’s successful because the resident knows exactly where their money is going,” said Dave Poulson, manager of the solid waste management department. “It’s been very successful so far.”

Poulson said this year’s program raised $4,000. The town charges $10 for a television and $5 for a computer.

Hampstead and Atkinson are pleased with the arrangement with Windfield Alloy.

“It’s a great service to the residents,” Atkinson Selectman Todd Barbera said. “It’s nice to see businesses operating in town working well with the town to support its community. It doesn’t go unnoticed.”

Windfield Alloy recycles the electronics and extracts precious metals, aluminum, copper and steel.

“It’s a pretty good undertaking,” Ball said. “Even if we lost a little bit of money because of this day, we are fine with it because of what we are doing for the townspeople.”