HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – As new technology has poured into classrooms in Horry County Schools, it has started to make other forms of technology obsolete, such as televisions.
That's why 2,000 old televisions were removed from 35 schools over winter break, said Greg Sponseller, sustainability analyst for HCS.
He said teachers weren't using the televisions for much else besides telling time.
Kerry Pilkey, a fifth grade teacher at Socastee Elementary School, said televisions do not have the same opportunities for interactive learning as tablets or smartboards.
"They can see everything on an iPad they can see on a television and then they can review it again and again, individually, at their own pace," he said.
While the televisions were turned on, each one was costing the district between $50 and $100 a year, Sponseller said. The district will then save between $100,000 and $200,000 total per year from this point on.
Powerhouse Recycling went into the schools over winter break to remove the televisions and the brackets holding some of them to walls.
Powerhouse Recycling often pays the district for old computers, but in this case, but the district had to pay about $75,000 because the televisions aren't worth much and the removal process was also lengthy. It took crews two weeks to get through the 2,000 televisions.
Sponseller said this was the most cost effective and efficient option, even compared to using the district's own maintenance workers.
"It's such a large job with two thousand televisions and we had to do it outside of the normal school operating hours, it was just too large of a job to try and it would've taken, could've taken years on top of all of the other work the maintenance crew is already expected to do," he said.
Sponseller said safety was another factor in deciding to take out the televisions because many had been mounted to walls for years and were at risk of collapsing.
The district should recover the cost for removal within six months, Sponseller said.
All of the televisions that were in schools will be broken down into parts and used to make other electronics and then other materials like glass and plastic will be recycled.