Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Fourth annual day of electronic recycling

Bradford Spurr

Posted on April 26, 2016 in News
By USM Free Press

Bradford Spurr
Bradford Spurr
Hannah Lyon | The Free Press

By Colin Cundy, Free Press Staff

Springtime in Maine means many things: warmer weather, summer clothing, coats left on hangers and mud season are but the first to come to mind. Spring is also a time of year for new beginnings, and a time to clean out the past year’s clutter. Recently, some people were able to add recycling stock-piled electronic waste to that list.

Last Saturday was the 4th Annual Community Electronic Waste Recycling Day at USM. The event was held at the Woodbury Campus Center parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Since its inception in 2012, the event has become more prominent over the past four years, in large part because it has spread beyond the student body.

“Over 500 cars came last year,” said Emily Eschner, Asset and Surplus Coordinator for USM. While working with facilities on sustainability issues, she also runs USM’s surplus store. People who know about this recycling event sometimes save up their e-waste all year so that they have something to contribute.

Eschner continued: “I think recycling makes a ton of sense, both environmentally and economically. She then went on to point out that the Planet only has a finite amount of resources. Recycling will make that waste useful again, keep it out of a landfill, and probably be cheaper than extracting new raw materials.”

Eschner added that at this point, community members who drop off their electronics have come to outnumber students. Each year, hundreds of cars drop off thousands of pounds of electronic waste. Last year, the event received over 54,000 pounds of recycled materials, with 3,500 of those pounds in appliances alone.

The 2014 event saw an even larger turnout and numbers, however, as over 700 cars arrived for the E-waste recycling day. During that year’s event, over 60,000 pounds of waste was recycled, which included more than 6,000 pounds in appliances.

Among the items accepted during this event are televisions, computers and laptops, hard drives, monitors, keyboards, mice, speakers and other peripherals, printers, copiers, scanners, fax machines, stereo equipment, cords, chargers, wires, cell phones telephones, cameras, refrigerators, air conditioners, microwaves and a variety of other household electronic waste.

There are some items that cannot be collected, though, because often times USM recycles those items year-round. Batteries, light bulbs and smoke detectors are not accepted. Batteries for example can be recycled at each of the university’s three libraries. There are wooden kiosks where they can be deposited year round.

Volunteers were on hand in the parking lot, aiding in the unloading of electronic waste from what will most likely be hundreds of cars. The event will also served as a fundraiser for Preble Street Resource Center, for which these events have raised considerable funds in past years.

USM is also undertaking measures to reduce its carbon footprint, increase recycling and increasing awareness of how to be more sustainable in everyday life. Sustainability at USM’s is behind most environmental program and initiative at the University. Their website details the extent to which USM goes in being more sustainable. It also has detailed information on how to recycle just about everything.


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