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Day on the Jay goes green Students look to fill recycling bins with electronics instead of empty soda bottles

Staff April 23, 2012 News No Comments

Alongside a rock wall and free food, this spring’s Day on the Jay will feature an electronic waste recycling drive.

Juniors Lydia Hoefel and Chris Demecs have spearheaded the effort to collect students’ unwanted electronics.

They, along with nine members of the Environment and Wildlife Club, will be stationed outside Chappelear Drama Center this Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sophomore Melissa Guziak, president of E&W, said fellow member Hoefel recruited the rest of the club to help.

Guziak said the project is consistent with the club’s overall mission “because it spreads awareness on our campus about actions we can take to make less of an impact on our environment.”

“This is a great event because it raises awareness about the issue of waste created with electronic products—waste we often don’t think about,” she said.

According to Sustainability Coordinator Sean Kinghorn, the campus generates eight to ten pounds of electronic waste each year.

Demecs said the event is a project for their environmental geography course. According to Hoefel, the idea came from a previous effort to collect and recycle cell phones.

“There are cell phone recycling bins on campus, but they’re filled with pop bottles and stuff,” she said. “No one uses them.”

Hoefel said the main goal for the event is to “grab people’s attention” about e-waste recycling, but that she is unsure what to expect.

“Hopefully it’s a good turnout, but nothing’s really been done like this before, so it’s kind of like trial by error,” she said.

Guziak said she thinks the event’s coincidence with Day on the Jay will make for a good turnout.

“Having it at Day on the Jay is a great idea because students all come out for that,” she said. “Even if people don’t bring items to recycle they will see the electronic recycling occurring and be aware that it is a service available (at many electronic stores such as Best Buy).”

Demecs said recycling is more cost-effective compared to other disposal methods.

“The whole sustainability thing just saves everybody money, really,” he said.

Hoefel and Demecs are collaborating with Possitivity, an e-waste recycling firm based in Dublin.

According to E-waste Manager Jesse Roberts, Possitivity has had a contract with Ohio Wesleyan for e-waste recycling for the past two years.

Demecs said the company guarantees none of the waste they handle goes to a landfill.

Hoefel said Kinghorn referred her and Demecs to Possitivity, which narrowed down their search for recycling firms.

“We actually had to be kind of careful with who we used as a recycling company, because there are a lot of companies that claim to not use landfills, and there’s no certification on any of them that proves that,” she said.

“Any company can just claim that they don’t use a landfill, but this one we have documentation that says that they don’t.”

Roberts, who will be in attendance on Friday, said Possitivity accepts a large variety of electronics, “from hair dryers to toasters and coffee pots and microwave ovens.”

Unusable items are broken down and recycled, while those in working condition are prepared for resale.

According to Roberts, “99 percent” of the company’s intake is recycled, and “very little” is resold.

Roberts said Possitivity has done e-waste recycling events for townships and high schools before, but this is the first on a college campus.

“If my expectations are anything it’s that the younger crowd are more green-minded,” he said.

“I have kids that age. People in my generation have learned a lot of things about recycling over the last few years, and people in my father’s generation didn’t know anything about it or didn’t do it.”

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