Aiken County, South Carolina was just one of 11 municipalities recently involved in a lawsuit brought over antiquated computer monitors and cathode ray tube television sets.
According to an Aiken Standard article, the lawsuit was brought by Carolina Pines LLC, which owned a facility where North Carolina-based company Creative Recycling Systems maintained a graveyard of local governments’ out-of-date technologies.
While it is unclear how many VCRs, landline phones and fax machines were melted down in the process, the Aiken Standard reports that more than 6 million pounds of electronic waste was left in a warehouse in Blythewood when Creative Recycling filed for bankruptcy in 2014.
According to the lawsuit, filed in 2016, the company was supposed to “process, recycle and/or dispose of” the waste materials, but never got around to it.
Unfortunately for those South Carolina governments who had a state contract with Creative Recycling, when Carolina Pines sought to use the space again, they decided it was up to them to remove the waste, while paying them rent for the time the materials were left there.
“They were claiming we owed them $205,000,” Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian told the Aiken Standard. “And if we had gone to court, who knows what would have happened. We would have spent at least $20,000 on attorneys’ fees.”
In the end, Aiken agreed to pay Carolina Pines a $66,500 settlement.
All because they did business with a company who failed to do what they said they would and then went bankrupt.
The antiquated technologies all breathe a sigh from beyond the grave that sounds oddly like “karma.”
The status of the claims against the other municipalities is unclear at this time.