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AV Services E-Recycling Event a Success

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Westminster College's Audio Visual Services wrapped up its AV Week activities with an e-recycling drive Oct. 24 at Hoyt Science Resources Center.

AV staff members, including director Gary Swanson, assistant director Katie Hilliard, and four students, assisted a three-man crew from A GreenSpan Computer Recycling, Inc., collecting everything from old computers and monitors to VHS recorders, laser disc players, telephones, televisions, and other outdated technology. A small fee was charged for each item collected.

Rachael Hoffman, AV assistant operations manager and a junior neuroscience major, coordinated the event. She is a daughter of Walter and Patricia Hoffman of Greenville and a graduate of Reynolds High School.

"We were asked why there was a charge for the service," Hoffman said. "Our department did a lot of research and found that many organizations that collect used electronics for free export the items they collect to other countries. This leads to a black market and creates hazardous circumstances for individuals who come in contact with the materials contained inside the electronics."

Hoffman explained A GreenSpan is a certified E-Steward, meaning they have been approved as an electronics recycler that responsibly reuses and/or safely breaks down the items within North America. The fees collected help cover that expense.

"[The fees] were minimal, especially considering the positive difference that individuals are able to make," Hoffman said. "By putting their old technology into A GreenSpan's responsible hands, participants kept electronics out of landfills."

"Some of that stuff clearly hadn't seen the light of day for a while," Swanson said. "We weren't sure what kind of response we'd get, but were pleasantly surprised. We had a great turnout and have had inquiries about another event in the spring."

"We want people to be responsible technology users," Swanson added. "That includes responsible recycling when they no longer need it."

Other AV student staff involved in the project were: 

Katelyn Altman, a sophomore communications major, is a daughter of Weston and Laurie Altman of New Castle and a graduate of Mohawk Area High School.

Andrew Borts, a senior broadcast communications major, is a son of Russell and Denise Borts of Youngstown, Ohio, and a graduate of Boardman High School.

Holly Penco, a senior international business major, is a daughter of Gregory and Donna Penco of Erie and a graduate of McDowell High School.

Contact Swanson at (724) 946-7188 or e-mail avstaff@westminster.edu for additional information. Contact Terry Boring of A GreenSpan at (866) 904-7726 for additional information about electronics recycling.