More computers than paper are expected to be dropped off today at the Rimbey Paper Recycling Depot. The town is the first in Alberta to hold a municipal “e-waste” round-up of old computers, televisions, and other electronics. Free drop-offs are being encouraged at the paper depot from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mayor Dale Barr said his town is taking the lead in electronics recycling to show the provincial government that this kind of effort is needed throughout Alberta. E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in Canada, said Barr, who fears landfills will quickly fill up with old computer monitors and obsolete VCRs. Besides causing congestion, Barr worries about dangerous chemicals from electronics leaching into soil and ground water. Almost two kilograms of lead and some phosphorus are contained in the average computer monitor, and large television screens hold more. Barr notes 500 million computers are expected to be disposed of in North America over the next five years. “We need to legislate this waste out of our landfills.” Electronic equipment rounded up today will be recycled for free by MAXUS Technology Inc., a private Calgary-based firm with a drop-off facility in Rimbey. Town residents who miss bringing in their computers and TVs can drop them off at MAXUS’s recycling site later on — for a fee. The company charges $10 for each computer monitor and $15 for each TV. The fee is needed because of the specialized work done to remove lead and phosphorus from the old equipment, said Clayton Miller, MAXUS’s communication co-ordinator. Phosphorus is washed off and held for a future use the company is still working on, said Miller, while leaded glass is sent for reuse to manufacturers of new monitors and televisions. Other electronics components are recycled for plastic or metal content. Computers that are in better condition are reconditioned and sold to wholesale to retailers, he added. MAXUS officials hope e-waste recycling catches on and the Rimbey facility ends up taking in old equipment from all over Central Alberta — including corporate waste. “We need to recognize that landfilling is not the way to go about this,” said Miller.