By Ashleigh Nix ’10
In mid-October, Converse and Technical Knockout collaborated for a recycling event to collect used computer parts that may have otherwise been bound for the landfill. The result: over seven tons of materials were collected and prevented from being haphazardly disposed.
“The amount of equipment collected varies from city to city, but this was definitely above average,” said Elise Warren, a Converse alumna and an employee for Technical Knock Out.
Converse collected 138 computers; 142 monitors; and 161 printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines. In addition, four pallets of phones, cell phones, wiring, mice and keyboards were accumulated.
After electronic equipment is recycled, everything except the monitors are taken apart. Some components are recycled into their particular group (plastic, etc.) and other components are shredded and made into other useful objects. The metal, for example, is molded into pipe and re-used in various citywide projects.
Discarding used electronic parts into the landfill can cause much danger. Over two million tons of electronics are throw away annually. Over 65 million cell phones are stored in U.S. households creating 30,000 tons of potentially hazardous waste. Cell phones contain toxic substances including: arsenic, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel and zinc which filter into soil and groundwater from landfills and form highly toxic dioxins during burning. These toxins have been linked with cancer, in addition to many reproductive, neurological and developmental disorders.
Recycling not only is a health-conscience decision, but it also provides for others. The cell phones that were collected will be given to underprivileged women and children that may need to call 911 in case of an emergency.