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Volume up significantly at E-Cycle Day 2015

men sorting old computers

On Friday, October 30th University Facilities and Services held its 8th annual E-Cycle Day. The day began bright and early at 6:30 a.m. and ran until 1:00 p.m. University faculty, students and staff lined up in Park Lot to drop off unwanted, broken, and old electronics to be recycled.

University Facilities and Services staff members, brothers from Delta Upsilon Fraternity, and Sunnking employees teamed up to run E-Cycle Day,  providing a quick and convenient way to drop off unwanted electronics.  As vehicles arrived, volunteers unloaded the electronics and stacked items on wooden pallets. Pallets were filled with computer monitors, televisions, and other large electronics. Smaller items such as cell phones, chargers, and cords were sorted and placed in boxes accordingly. All items were then transported to Sunnking’s recycling plant. Cindy Jessop of Sunnking says of the event, “Having a convenient opportunity to properly recycle electronics is very important.  Sunnking is happy to partner with the University of Rochester to provide such a valuable service to their employees and students.”

students in a parking lot by discarded electronicsAt this year’s E-Cycle Day, a total of 26,648 pounds of material was collected—outweighing last year’s total by more than 11,000 pounds! With electronics becoming smaller and lighter, there has been a drop in the number of pounds of electronics collected in recent years, making this year’s collection extremely successful. Over the years, a total of 190,286 pounds of electronics have been collected thanks to E-Cycle Day.

What is the reason for this year’s increase? Recycling Coordinator Amy Kadrie suspects it is due to two reasons. First, it is now illegal to dispose of many types electronics in New York State. As of January 1, 2015, violators of this regulation can be subject to fines of $100 per incident. Secondly, because of the cost to dispose of leaded glass, it is now more difficult to find an outlet that will accept CRTs for free. It is common to see CRT monitors and televisions account 50% or more of the items collected at events and E-Cycle Day 2015 collected all items free of charge.

E-Cycle Day helps promote sustainability by diverting thousands of pounds of waste from ending up in landfills. It reinforces the idea of recycling electronics rather than throwing them out.  Once items are dropped off at Park Lot, they are then driven to Sunnking’s recycling plant where the electronics are manually sorted to ensure maximum recovery. The primary goal is to recover as much of the material as possible for reuse. What cannot be resold as refurbished equipment or dismantled into parts for resale is recycled for its various commodities (copper and other metals, plastic, etc.). Sunnking strives for zero waste production; recycling cardboard and shrink wrap generated from its events, and has achieved R2 certification from New York State.

parkinglot and old televisions and monitorsIf you missed E-Cycle Day or have additional items you would like to recycle, visit the ecopark—a recycling destination for Monroe country residents to drop off unwanted materials. Also, the University’s own IT Equipment Recovery Program offers options to recycle both University-owned and personal items (see details here).

Additional pictures from the event can be seen at the University of Rochester Sustainability Facebook Page. We would like to thank the brothers of Delta Upsilon as well as Medical Center Facilities Operations for continuously sending volunteers to help at this event. We would also like to thank Horticulture and Grounds for their continual support in this event, Support Operations and River Campus Facilities staff, as well as our electronics recycling partner Sunnking.

Written by Alyssa Lemire, Class of 2017

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