E-waste drives attempt to divert electronics from waste stream

By Brian Hernandez, Staff Writer

Electronic waste otherwise known as e-waste is discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal are also considered e-waste.  Striving to be a green campus, Verbum Dei has decided to partake in responsibly disposing the e-waste accumulated on campus by having e-waste gathering events and by giving the waste to companies which dispose of it.

“We try to do about two e-waste gatherings a year here at Verbum Dei,” John Galloway, Director of Information Technologies said.

There is a goal at Verbum Dei, and that goal is to be green,” Galloway stated.  “We want to be mindful of what can be recycled in this day and age; it’s sad to see recyclables getting thrown into a landfill. We’re being good eco-friendly citizens of our community and our world by participating in e-waste recycling.”

“We try and do about two or three e-waste gatherings a year – all depending on when we have too much junk,” Jeff Bonino-Britsch, Vice President of Operations said.  “There’s really no specific dates, but we make sure to notify staff when the e-waste gathering will happen to get the junk out of here.”

“We want to be a green campus, so we’re going to recycle whatever we can,” Bonino-Britsch further supported Galloway’s assertion.  “The stuff has got to go somewhere – where people could make use of the parts and recycle it.”

There is reasoning behind the e-waste gathering, according to Galloway.

“We are blessed to receive so much from our donors, but we have limited space; we can’t possibly keep all the donated electronics due to the lack of space,” said  Galloway.  “All of our older stuff just ends up piling up in our storage containers after we update our electronics, and I personally think that we have to get rid of the old stuff sitting around through the e-waste gathering.”

The past e-waste gatherings have been successful according to Bonino- Britsch.

“It has been successful in the past and will continue to be successful because people will always have junk that they don’t need,” said Bonino-Britsch.

“We encourage other staff and faculty to bring any electronics which they have no use for anymore,” added Galloway.

However, there are some problems when it comes to e-waste, Galloway stated.

“One problem with some e-waste companies is that they charge for the service of coming to pick up our e-waste, while other companies don’t charge at all,” said Galloway.

On the surface it appears to be an environmentally sound and a responsible practice; however, the handling of  e-waste may be the subject of controversy as was asserted in the documentary film Living On A Dollar A Day, which the Verbum Dei’s community watched during an afternoon assembly recently.  The film producer’s contention is that the e-waste of the developed economies of the world is unceremoniously dumped in developing countries, were children who attempt to salvage metals are subject to harmful toxins.

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