Victor Valley residents turned in 23 tons of discarded electronics earlier this month, keeping toxic substances out of the local landfills and water supply.


The 45,000 pounds of electronic waste, or "e-waste," was turned in at the city of Hesperia's January 3 turn-in event.


"When we do the January event, that's about a typical number," said Julie Ryan, recycling coordinator for the city of Hesperia. "I try to target after the holidays."


Electronics, including computers, televisions, cell phones and keyboards, contain lead, mercury and other hazardous chemicals that can leech into the city's water supply if simply dropped into the landfill.


"I think it's mostly residents, from all the cars and everything I see," Ryan said.


Among the items dropped off: "Televisions, computer monitors, computer towers. ... Someone dropped off a treadmill. ... You get the keyboards. Really anything with a wire. We've gotten lamps, microwaves."


Ryan said that the once-little-known dangers of putting electronics into the landfill seem to be well known to residents of the Victor Valley.


"I think for the majority they do, based on the numbers and communication we get," she said. "It's maybe the ones who may not care who illegally dump, because I get the calls when we're not doing the events, asking where to take the stuff."


Until the next e-waste event -- likely to occur sometime this summer, to coincide either with the end of the 2008-2009 school year or with the start of the 2009-2010 one -- residents can take their electronic waste to the city's drop off at the San Bernardino County Fire Department station at 17443 Lemon Street. The hazardous material drop-off location is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to electronics, the site also handles the disposal of oil, paint, batteries, oil filters and household cleaners.


For more information about any of the City of Hesperia's recycling programs or other green initiatives, call 947-1589 or visit the city's Web site: www.CityofHesperia.us.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.