Senior sets up e-waste collection

 

By Susan Wang

Outdated MP3 players, ancient gaming controllers, and homemade science experiments peek out over the edges of a large blue plastic bin by the security kiosk at the north entrance to the Upper School as car upon car whooshes by. In a dark maintenance storage room in Weiler Hall, a dusty printer and wood-framed television set sit surrounded by broken appliances and power tools.

To most, this assortment of random electronic devices is reminiscent of the forgotten heap of junk stored in the corner of their garage. However, to Jonathan Etra ’11, each piece of electronic waste represents a small step towards achieving a more environmentally friendly school.

Upon suggestions from his AP Environmental Science teachers, and with help from the Environmental Club and Jewish Student Union Club, Etra started the E-Waste Recycling Program as a safe and easy way for students and teachers to get rid of their useless electronic devices.

After discussing plans and working with administrators, the program kicked off at the upper school campus on March 8, and is scheduled to run until Friday.

 

Etra’s goal when starting the E-Waste Recycling Program was not only to provide students a safe and proper way for disposing their e-waste, but also to encourage people to make smart choices regarding environmental issues.

If not recycled properly, he said, “e-waste” could cause considerable harm to the environment.

“When e-waste is disposed of as regular trash, its chemicals can leach out of storage sites and can contaminate soil, underground water aquifers as well as pose threats to animals exposed to the chemicals,” Etra said.

The e-waste brought in by students is taken by a specialized recycling company to a recycling plant where it is processed and disposed.

Types of e-waste that can be recycled include cell phones, computers, cameras, printers, cables, televisions, and other electronic devices.

Etra hopes that the E-Waste Recycling Program will increase the school community’s awareness for the environment by motivating students to recycle.

“I think that when people are provided with means to do things that are environmentally friendly,” said Etra, “they usually take the opportunity.”

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