Krissy Ann’s desk is situated between outdated computer screens and broken television sets.
Six months ago, Ann moved from Portland, Ore., to Ashburn, for her husband’s job. She left her family and friends and her job as a pharmacy technician.
After talking to a family member, Ann got the idea to bring an electronics recycling center to Loudoun County.
"I did some research about this area and came to find out there is nobody in Loudoun County who does this," she said.
Ann contacted E-Tech Recycling, an electronics recycling company. The Oregon-based company afforded her the opportunity to open a new branch of the same company across the country.
“People here are so technologically advanced. We have individuals walking in here with two computers,” Ann said. “This area is a good market for us.”
E-TECH RECYCLING’S warehouse is filled with cable boxes and circuit boards. The company recycles most electronic equipment like computers, monitors, telephones, VCRs, televisions and cell phones.
“We receive a lot of computers and monitors, but the strangest thing we received was a breast-pump motor,” Ann joked. “They’re all things we can recycle.”
In 2006, more than 300 million obsolete computers were disposed of. Eighty percent of those computers ended up in a landfill, according to E-Tech Recycling’s Web site.
When electronics are thrown into landfills, hazardous material like lead gets into the environment.
The recycling center’s biggest problem is getting its name out there, Ann said.
“We get about seven or eight people a day,” she said.
The company advertises on Google and Yahoo’s Web sites, but most people don’t know the importance of properly disposing electronics.
“Don’t throw your computers into the trash. They’ll end up in a landfill and eventually cause health hazards,” Ann said.
E-TECH CHARGES customers a small fee for labor to recycle computers, monitors, VCR and DVR players and printers. Prices range from $5 to $15 and up, depending on the size of the equipment. The company recycles cell phones free of charge.
“We should recycle as a favor to the next generation,” Ann said. “It costs as much as a cup or two of Starbuck’s coffee.”