Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando schools selling old PCs for recycling

BROOKSVILLE — With one vote Tuesday, the Hernando County School Board may put a great many computers out to pasture.

More than 1,400 machines — plus assorted monitors, projectors, switches and other gizmos — have passed into obsolescence and need to be recycled, officials say. The entire technological pile is expected to fetch $7,000 if it is sold to Creative Recycling Systems of Tampa.

"Most of them are 2003 and older," said Jeanne Leftwich, the district's property control and warehouse manager. "The board (previously) approved that all computer hardware would go through recycling."

Last fall, the district embarked upon a top-to-bottom overhaul of its computer technology program, leasing more than 11,000 Dell computers in a four-year, $8.1-million deal.

That brought a lot of smiles, but also a few protests from the handful of schools that had committed to incompatible Apple Computer products. Parents at Suncoast Elementary said perfectly good Macintosh laptops donated by their School Advisory Committee would be removed.

But Hernando officials said those schools were eventually allowed to keep their old computers, with the understanding that they wouldn't get any assistance for them from overstretched technology aides.

"If it was marked 'Do not remove,' it wasn't removed," said Melissa Harts, the district's technology director. "But they had to know those Macs weren't going to be supported."

Around 1,500 newer computers purchased before the Dell agreement will be redistributed to schools, with a third going to schools that purchased them with federal aid dollars, she said.

Of the computers to be recycled, around 90 were purchased in 2003 or 2004. But officials say they can't be sold piecemeal to families or donated to organizations.

Under state law, they must be offered in a public sale if they're offered at all. And such sales haven't gone well in the past, with some machines getting improperly dumped. Computers and monitors contain toxic chemicals, and their disposal is regulated by state and federal laws.

"When we would sell them to Joe Public, we had no idea what happened to those," Leftwich said. "They'd end up in the landfill. We'd get calls from the police department that there were computers laying out in a pasture that were ours, that we had sold."

The School Board will take up the matter Tuesday at its 7 p.m. meeting at 919 North Broad St.

Tom Marshall can be reached at or (352) 848-1431.

Hernando schools selling old PCs for recycling 12/05/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump


    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.

  2. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Chris Archer has made a name for himself on the mound. And at a time when some athletes work to steer clear of any issue with a tint of controversy for fear it could damage their brand, Archer has used that platform to weigh in on some topical social, political and news events.

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. Candidates for governor get emotional talking about their gay siblings


    Occasionally in today's hyper-rehearsed and contrived world of political campaigns one witnesses moments that are so honest and real, we can't help but understand we're not just listening to another politician give his or her stump speech; We're listening to a human being who understands personal pain at least as well …

    Chris King talking to reporters in Tallahassee
  4. Southern heritage groups sue to keep Confederate monument at old Tampa courthouse

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Groups that say they support Southern heritage filed a lawsuit late Friday trying to halt the removal of a Confederate statue from downtown Tampa.

    Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.
  5. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI


    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.