Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Green AV volunteers from Westminster College Audio Visual Services busted out their work gloves and wire cutters and collected a record of over 13,600 pounds for their bi-annual E-recycling Drive on October 20, 2013 at the Hoyt Science Center loading dock. It is the third straight record setting haul for the events, and brings the cumulative total weight of recycled e-waste from the drives to over 83,600 pounds.
Audio Visual Services collaborated with JVS Environmental, an e-recycler based out of Rockwood, PA, to collect the recyclable materials from the drive. JVS Environmental has a R2 certification, which ensures that all recyclables are being taken care of properly. R2 Solutions strives to "promote environmentally responsible practices throughout the electronics recycled industry," according to the organization's website. Examples of these recyclable materials include appliances, computers, televisions, and other electronics and computer components. Without e-recycling, these pieces of technology may end up seeping harmful chemicals in local landfills or in third world countries. R2 certification ensures that the recyclables are being handled in a way that is beneficial to the community, the ecosystem, and the economy.
As of January 1st, 2013, it became illegal for Pennsylvania residents to place e-waste on the curb along with other trash for roadside pickup. By recycling through E-recycling drives like Westminster College's, patrons are not only being responsible and eco-friendly, but are also keeping in accordance with state law.
"It is so important that this tech doesn't end up in the trash," said Savanna Adams, a Public Relations major from Brookfield, Ohio and the AV department's Assistant PR Manager. "These E-recycling drives not only help the community unload no-longer wanted items, but also ensures safe processing and disposal, protecting our environment. It also helps to raise awareness about the materials our technology is made up of and the risks of not recycling it properly."
While Audio Visual Services has always provided its own labor for past events, initial processing and packing the items for hauling had been handled by the e-recycler. For this most recent event, however, volunteers not only unloaded the materials from patron's vehicles, but also performed basic preparations, sorted items into categorized bins and packed pallets of TVs and PC monitors so that they could be hauled safely to JVS Environmental's site.
"Packing pallets was hard work," said Stephen Bendig, a Broadcast Communications major from Greenville, PA and the AV department's Lead Support Technician. "By volunteering to do it ourselves, we saved the community from having to pay any additional processing fees, and it helps us all to understand the recycling process a bit better."
All non-freon items were able to be recycled at no cost to consumers through the volunteer effort. (Freon-related items required a $15 charge paid to JVS Environmental.)
As a community service, Westminster and the AV department serve to promote and provide both labor and location for the event, but no money is made by either off of these drives.
"Westminster's mission includes a statement about students demonstrating a moral and ethical commitment to neighbor, society, and the natural world," said Westminster AV Director Gary Swanson. "The work these folks volunteer to do at these drives when they could be doing so many other things is a testament to their character and commitment to that mission."
Plans are underway now for the next E-Recycling drive, scheduled for April 12, 2014 at Westminster's Hoyt Science Center loading dock.
For more information, please contact AV Services by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 724-946-7188.
Contributed by Emily Moorhead, AV Public Relations Manager