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Waste Not - Household Collection Throwaway Success
Televisions, microwaves, printers, computer monitors, whether broken, outdated, or just plain worn out, found their way to the Escalon Community Center on Saturday, where they started a new journey.

The discards of local residents were collected by Onsite Electronics Recycling out of Stockton, with a crew in Escalon for a quarterly stop. It was the first of the year, with additional drop off events scheduled in April, July and October.

"It has been consistent," Onsite spokesman Ron Kemp said as he checked in a steady stream of vehicles arriving for the drop off event around 10 a.m. Saturday.

Kemp said the firm has been hosting the quarterly collections in cooperation with the City of Escalon and San Joaquin County for the last several years, so residents are pretty knowledgeable about what they can bring in for the recycling effort.

"It's almost to the point where it's anything with a cord," Kemp explained. "We can take electronics, but we also take Styrofoam, fluorescents and we can also accept mercury devices."

Paints and pesticides fall into a different category, but the wide variety of recyclables accepted means people can generally get rid of any and all unwanted e-waste.

Onsite also has a business recycling program, though the Saturday collection was residential only. It was free for locals and Kemp said it's a way to help keep residents from having to make the trip from Escalon to the company's Stockton site.

Kemp said the items dropped off on Saturday would be broken down and recyclable parts distributed to a variety of 'end users' to be used again.

According to the company website, Onsite "provides for the complete recycling of all material collected" and doesn't re-sell or re-use the items they collect. The electronics are sorted, boxed and baled and shipped off, with many items coming back as other products.

Kemp said the firm has collection events throughout the county and also gives tours of its electronics recycling facility on Teepee Drive in Stockton so residents can gain a better understanding of what happens to their discards.

"We give tours all the time," he said.

Saturday's event was a hugely successful one, and those that missed it can plan to attend the next collection on April 8. Additional dates in 2012 are July 14 and Oct. 14, with hours for each from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Other collection sites throughout the county are in Stockton, Tracy, Lodi and Lockeford. Onsite was formed in 2004 with the goal of providing "responsible management of discarded electronics," its website reads, and originally was located at the San Joaquin County Lovelace Materials Transfer Facility. It moved to a site in Stockton in 2006 and expanded to a larger facility in Stockton, on Teepee Drive, in 2010.