This Is Progress: Computer Recycling in Holyoke

From local news from abc40, By Eric Fisher

HOLYOKE, Mass. (abc40) — Technology is everywhere, but once you’re done with it, what do you do? In Massachusetts, computers are not allowed in landfills due to their toxic components. But a Holyoke company is offering a way for people to recycle their PCs.

“We performed upgrades for people, but we didn’t know what to do with the old computers,” says owner of Reliable Computer Dan Deschanine. “Then Rich said hey let’s start recycling and it’s worked out great.”

Dan opened Reliable Computer 15 years ago, but just last year started a new branch called D&R Recycling. Along with Rich Holtz, they’ve been recycling computers in the same building.

“We recycle screws, the plastic, the metal, there’s very little trash if you really work on it,” says co-owner of D&R Rich Holtz.

Computers and many other electronics like cd players and VCRs contain traces of mercury, lead, and other poisonous metals and gasses. By recycling, they can minimize the toxic effects and keep them out of landfills.

“Each component has different types of things we can recycle in them,” says Holtz.

Some chips and boards contain traces of gold and platinum. The plastic shell of a computer can be recycled. All the metal parts, bearings, and screws all get separated. Once put into their respective groups, Dan and Rich visit several scrap yards and trade them in.

An entire computer is only worth about $2-3, so they aim for large quantities. They do so by arranging contracts with larger businesses.

“If a business has 50 employees and they just upgraded to flat panels, they’ll have to do something with those monitors,” says Deschaine. “Usually their space is limited, so that’s where we come in.”

Individuals are also welcome to bring in their old PCs. D&R also accepts other forms of electronics, but charge for some of their services. The shop is located at 867 Main Street in Holyoke, and a price list can be found there.

As a business, computer recycling has only existed for about 5-7 years. Rich deconstructed an entire computer for abc40, and the only trash left was a plastic sticker. Every single other component can be recycled.