To visit the PHAT Energy website, click here.
By Mary O’KEEFE
This Saturday is the day to gather those old computers, television sets, printers and other electronic waste and take them to the CV Chamber office at 3131 Foothill Blvd. from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“We did this last year and it was very successful,” said Julia Rabago, executive director of the CV Chamber.
The chamber office collected over 15,000 pounds of e-waste last year. Rabago is certain they can surpass that number this year.
Dropping off the unwanted electronic devices is easy.
Global E-Recyclers will bring a large truck to take all the e-waste away. Drivers can drive up to the Chamber office and workers from E-Recyclers take the items out of the vehicle and place them into a disposal pile.
Consumer electronics, including televisions, video equipment and computers, make up about 2% of the municipal solid waste in the country, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Energy.
That waste is steadily increasing. In 1998, the National Safety Council Study estimated about 20 million computers became obsolete in one year. In 2007 that number more than doubled, according to the EPA.
Electronics consist of a variety of materials including lead, nickel, cadmium and mercury. These materials can pose a human health risk, according to the EPA.
Disposing of the e-waste in a safe manner not only helps the environment and keeps the items out of local landfills but also keeps the owner safe from identity theft.
“That’s what a lot of people ask us. ‘What about the information on my hard drive?’” Rabago said.
The disposal includes identity theft protection via data destruction of hard drives.
The partnership between PHAT and the Chamber seemed a perfect fit for both parties.
“When I saw the Chamber was doing this I called Steve [Pierce] and said, ‘How can we be part of this?’” said David Jones of PHAT Energy.
Pierce, the honorary mayor of Crescenta Valley, explained the event and the partnership was born.
PHAT Energy has found a comfortable solar home in the Crescenta Valley.
“We had our biggest month ever [in December],” Jones said.
The company almost doubled their sales goal last month. Last year was the biggest year for solar in California, Jones added.
But the popularity of solar is a dual-edged sword. Due to more people responding to the call of the Sun’s power, tax credits and rebates are running low.
In promoting alternative energy, electric companies like Southern California Edison offered a limited number of rebates. Those rebates are about to be reduced by 30%. In Glendale those credits have run out.
For those who want solar energy in Glendale, Atineh Haroatunian of Glendale Water and Power advise residents to fill out an application to be placed on a waiting list.
“There is no guarantee but if you are on a waiting list and someone drops out your [process can begin],” she said.
Jones said he expects Edison’s rebate reduction to happen by the end of January or first of February.
“But if you decide on solar [before that drop] we can get your reservation in,” he said.
Haroatunian said that companies that deal with solar power like PHAT Energy understand the process and permitting and can help consumers who wish to go solar.
Jones said the costs of solar for a household could range from $15,000 to $40,000 depending on the residents’ energy needs.
To help those with the costs PHAT is starting a program that allows the customer to put zero down with zero interest and no payments for 18 months.
Jones added that the company is not just about solar but also works with being energy efficient as well. Representatives evaluate the home to find ways to save energy beyond the solar panel.
That is why this e-waste program was important for Jones to get involved in.
“It helps our community and is in line with what we do here to help the environment,” he said.