Recycle that old cell phone, there's gold in there

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Items like unwanted cell phones or laptops could soon be put to good use.

WSLS 10 is hosting the 10 Cares Grand eRecycling Drive which will allow people to recycle unused electronics for free.

As the saying goes, one person's trash is another person's treasure and in this case, unwanted electronics could be used to collect gold, copper and other precious metals.

Randy Frazier runs River Acceptance LLC, an electronics recycling business.

"We are focusing on the electronics for the metals, the plastics and things like that," explained Frazier.

He said their clientele includes about 70 corporations. While his business is mostly made up of companies he says "e-cycling" is something anyone can do. Last year's 10 Cares Grand eRecycling event collected more than 100,000 pounds of electronic scrap. He says most electronics with a cord can be recycled except for tube televisions.

"We don't do tube TVs. We do flat-screen and projection TVs" said Frazier.

Once collected, the electronics are taken to the warehouse where employees either shred or take apart items to preserve recyclable materials.

"Circuit boards are recovered generally for precious metals, aluminum, copper, steel and all of that is recovered locally," said Frazier.

In addition, much of the proceeds from the electronics drive remain local. Last year, thousands of dollars went to Center in the Square, which provides free space to various agencies.

"The money we make will go into our pool to support the facilities for all these arts & culture organizations," said Jim Sears, General Manager of Center in the Square.

This year's 10 Cares Grand eRecycling Drive is scheduled for Saturday, January 14 at Grand Home Furnishing next to Valley View Mall from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m..