Cars lined up as far as the eye could see, and after four hours, volunteers at this year’s Douglas County electronics recycling event watched as seven 52-foot trailers and two 24-foot trucks drove off with an event record 150,000 pounds of e-waste.
But that wasn’t it. According to Bill Ormsbee, the county’s IT service desk manager, who has been organizing the event since it was originated in 2007, the 50 volunteers who came out collected $5,200 in donations for Douglas County Search and Rescue, filled two-thirds of a 48-foot trailer with donations destined for Goodwill and shredded roughly 30,000 pounds of personal documents — all records.
“To me it says the citizens are thinking more responsibly about how they get rid of things,” Ormsbee said. “They are watching out for the future generations and getting rid of all the things that they have hanging around their house, in their drawers, that aren’t doing anything. You might as well do something responsible with it all.”
After three straight years in Parker, the Oct. 5 event at Castle View High School marked the first time Castle Rock had hosted the event since 2009 when it was at the justice center. It also marked the first time the county was able to offer residents the ability to donate their old television sets and monitors for free after someone in the finance department discovered the solid waste fund could be used to cover the cost.
Volunteers at this year’s event spanned the generations and were made up of a mixture of students, adults, county employees and off-duty sheriff’s employees. They were all kept relatively busy too, as an unprecedented 1,325 cars rolled through the Castle View parking lot with their donations between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The previous record haul of electronics was 120,000 pounds in 2008, just one year after the county filled just one 24-foot trailer with about 15,000 pounds. And while 30,000 pounds might not seem like that much of a difference, Ormsbee is quick to point out that “televisions were a lot bigger and heavier back then.”
The event isn’t just about electronics, though, and every year the county has worked to add in another service, from partnering with nonprofits like Cell Phones for Soldiers, to finding a cause for monetary donations to go to, to adding a clothing drive to assist Goodwill, to offering document shredding.