ABOVE: Donated televisions and other old technology piled up to recycle from the Green Team. (File Photo)
The Southwestern College Green Team will hold an E-Waste Recycling Event on February 6th from 3-6 pm at the Winfield Fairgrounds in Barn #4.
For the 5th year in a row the Green Team will partner with both the City of Winfield and Grace United Methodist Church to collect electronics to be recycled. CRT televisions and monitors will be accepted with a $5 recycling fee, while all other electronics will be accepted at no cost.
“Thanks to this event, I get phone calls throughout the year of people wanting to recycle their electronics,” Jason Speegle, director of Green Team Southwestern, says, “and now is the time to do it.”
This event has been extremely successful collecting 12,000-15,000 pounds of E-Recycling each year. It is expected that in the coming years the number of pounds will go down as the older, bigger electronics are gotten rid of and replaced with lightweight, newer models.
“But it always amazes me that every year we continue to get a steady amount of things that people drop off,” Speegle says.
After the event is over the items will be collected by GON Recycling and from there will be broken apart, recycled, and reused. The variety of items varies every year, and some items received may come as a surprise.
“We were brought a typewriter once. A Nokia phone. Sometimes people just bring random cords they found,” Beth Jewett, business and green team member junior, says, “one time someone had a TV still in the hutch and was getting rid of the whole thing.”
Each year Southwestern College competes in a national recycling competition Recycle Mania and one of the divisions is E-recycling. “We have also been nationally ranked champions for three years for this event, if we have the most pounds of electronics this year we will be four times national champions,” says Kali Brewer, biochemistry and green team member.
This competition is held through the months of January, February, and March. Through the years some things have changed, but the main idea has stayed the same – to raise awareness of the importance of recycling E-waste and to collect E-waste.
Speegle is pleased with the way this event has raised awareness of the necessity to recycle electronics, but knows there is still more work to be done.
“Our landfills are filling up and we are having a hard time finding places to put our trash and if we can reduce that waste as much as possible it will be a good thing,” Speegle says, “and this event helps with that.”
As a laptop learning campus, Southwestern equips each full time on campus student with a laptop as well as faculty members. These laptops make a huge impact on the earth, “about 2,000 pounds of natural resources have to be mined to make one laptop,” Speegle said.
When electronics are recycled rather than thrown in a landfill, the Earth’s natural resources are able to be preserved longer and campuses like Southwestern can remain as green as possible.
While this event continues to flourish, Speegle’s hope is that satellite collection sites/events will happen in nearby communities.
Madison Stumbough is a junior majoring in liberal arts and sciences. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org