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. Home of Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman hits market at $3.45 million

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is back on the market for $3.45 million after a brief hiatus.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is on the market for $3.45 million. [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]
  2. Motorcyclist in serious condition after crash in St. Petersburg


    A motorcyclist is in serious condition after he crashed into a car in St. Petersburg on Thursday afternoon, according to St. Petersburg Police.

  3. 20 great images from around the globe for June 16 to June 23


    Photos of the week for June 16 - June 23: A deadly collision at sea, a WWII vet turns 100, gorgeous images from Bermuda, Germany, Libya, Milan and Rio, Otto Warmbier's parents lay their son to rest, and more.

    A commercial airplane flies past the moon above Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday, June 17, 2017. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)
  4. William March: Capin and Cruz appear destined for District 1 race

    Local Government

    Tampa City Council member Yolie Capin and state Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, appear headed for a primary in the District 1 County Commission race, which has Democrats worried they'll once again have strong candidates competing against each other in primaries, to the detriment of their chances against Republicans.

    Times Correspondent William March
  5. Watch: Gorilla dances like a 'maniac' in kiddie pool


    Zola, a gorilla who resides at the Dallas Zoo, has gone viral after showing off his dance moves.