Environmental Club: Electronic Waste Collection

We all have that one drawer, or box, with cell phones, mp3 players, and other technological knick-knacks. E-waste is a popular, informal name for electronic products nearing the end of their “useful life.” Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled. Many people hoard e-waste because they have no way to dispose of it safely. Our electronics contain hazardous heavy metals. If they are not disposed of properly, these metals can seep into our soil and threaten our drinking water supply. With proper refurbishing of these products however, these heavy metals can be extracted. Materials can be recovered and reused from old products.

Recently, the Environmental Club had an electronic drive to make sure students had an opportunity to properly dispose of electronic materials. They accepted anything that used batteries or plugged in, and is making sure it goes to the proper recycling. They were able to collect more 70 cell phones, 5 cameras, 7 computers, 5 routers,  85 pieces of audio equipment, 138 cords, 252 power cords, a toaster and more.

E-waste is any broken or obsolete electronic materials. AMerica has 9.4 million tons of E-waste a year. Most E-waste ends up going to the dump and being incinerated if not properly taken care of. This is detrimental to the environment and can cause serious problems for human health. However, when recycled E-waste can be very valuable. Americans throw out $60 million dollars in gold in cell phones alone.

Environmental Club President, Shannon Healy summed it up by saying, “The environmental club collected electronic waste from students and staff because it contains a lot of hazardous materials that if not disposed of properly can contaminate souls or are burned in incinerators releasing things like heavy metals into the air we breath.”