Taking E-Waste off of Westminster's Curbs

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Westminster College's AV Services, Physical Plant, Information Systems, and Chemical Hygiene departments have collaborated to draft a campus-wide policy for responsible electronics recycling at Westminster in light of a Pennsylvania act taking effect January 1, 2013 that will prohibit electronics from being put to the curb for trash pick-up.

"We are working together to push this forward in an effort to make responsibly recycling electronics as convenient as possible at Westminster," said Kevin McCarty, AV Services Media Library Manager.

Pennsylvania's Covered Device Recycling Act, passed in November 2010, includes a disposal ban that prohibits landfills from accepting desktop and laptop computers, their components, and televisions after January 2013. As a result, these devices will no longer be eligible for pickup by municipal waste services. In light of this, the three departments that frequently come in contact with campus waste, in general, met throughout the fall semester. The group contacted outside vendors and campus departments to do research and ultimately to determine the most efficient way to handle Westminster's e-waste, then presented it to the appropriate parties.

The anticipated plan for the campus e-waste program will work in two ways. Department employees will be able to schedule special pick-up of items on a per-need basis. Students will have access to drop-off locations for expired technology. These items will be stored bins and picked up by A Greenspan, Inc., an electronics recycler from Pittsburgh, Pa, who has been utilized in the past for every E-Recycling Drive held by Westminster AV Services. This vendor, an R2 certified recycler, will ensure that all items be recycled responsibly, rather than being exported or put in landfills, causing damage to the environment and the people in it.

The plan is to be presented to the campus by the campus sustainability committee as classes resume in mid-January.

"Westminster College has been a leader for our region to this regard," said Westminster College AV Director Gary Swanson. "Our AV department will continue to provide bi-annual e-recycling drives for area consumers as a community service, but this new policy ensures that all of Westminster College's employees and students can be compliant with state mandates for responsibly recycling their outdated technology as well. It's a win for all involved."

For more information on e-waste at Westminster, please contact Ron Pennington at Westminster Physical Plant (724-946-7014), Westminster Chemical Hygiene Officer Lori Micsky (724-946-6317), or Westminster AV Director Gary Swanson (724-946-7188).

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