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Sustainability that Computes: Fourth Annual E-Cycle Day a Success!

discarded electronicsNovember 2011

For those of you who drive into Park Lot for work or class in the morning, it’s not typical to see 31,482 pounds of TV’s, computers, printers, microwaves, and electric burger makers parked right across from you. But that was the scene on Friday, October 28th at the fourth annual E-Cycle Day event. Throughout the day, car after car filled with outdated and unusable electronics large and small. During the event, held in conjunction with University of Rochester Facilities and Services, the equipment was loaded onto pallets and sent off to be recycled by Brockport based e-recycling company, Sunnking (a company which diverted 7 million pounds of e-waste from a landfill in 2010!).

Faculty, staff, and students from all branches of the University were welcomed and encouraged to bring their unwanted electronics to be disposed of in a sustainable way. This prevents material waste, energy waste, and avoids the leakage of harmful, toxic chemicals from the cast-off electronics into the ground, and eventually into the water supply.

Sunnking makes every effort to follow the “three Rr’s” and reduce before they recycle.  About 20% of the electronics collected at such events, are refurbished and sold in the company’s retail center or through their ebay store if they are in workable condition (http://stores.ebay.com/Sunnking ).  But don’t worry – all hard drives and memory chips are cleared before items are re-sold or recycled.

Aside from protecting the environment, there is a lot to feel good about this year. For every pound of electronic scrap that was collected from this event, Sunnking will make a monetary donation to Foodlink through the We-cycle donation program. Foodlink is an organization dedicated to building hunger-free communities.

This year’s collection total was 31,482 pounds, which beat 2009’s total haul by over 5,000 pounds and nearly matched 2010’s total. However, it’s not just about the numbers. “To me,” says University Recycling Coordinator Amy Kadrie, “this event is becoming less about the number of pounds we collect and more about providing a great and convenient recycling service to our community.” This event also proves to be a great example in the community, and a reminder that there are almost always options before the landfill.

For the fourth year of what the University hopes to be many more, this event was made possible through the time and help given by all of the volunteers. A special thanks to the brothers of Delta Upsilon for partnering with the E-cycle team for the second year in a row! To see more of this exciting event, check out the pictures on the UR Sustainable Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/UR-Sustainable/289455824713!