May 16, 2013
Earth Day electronic waste collection event nets more than 13,000 pounds
Kansas State University partnered with its hazardous waste services provider, PSC Environmental Services, and Howie’s Recycling for a successful electronics waste recycling day. Nearly 170 participants brought more than 13,000 pounds of electronic waste, or e-waste, to the April 27 collection event. PSC and the university worked together to secure sponsors to provide materials, equipment, in-kind services and monetary contributions to support the event. According to survey results, more than half of the participants had been storing their material longer than five years.
"This was a wonderful collaboration of volunteers, K-State, PSC, Howie’s and other industries," said Kelly Greene, environmental manager. "The volunteers worked together as a team and really enjoyed the day and the ability to support the community in protecting the environment."
The collected items were taken by Howie’s for recycling. The electronics are “de-manufactured," or taken apart, to component level and the components are processed back into raw materials for use in new products.
Disposal of e-waste in municipal landfills is potentially harmful because of toxic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, chromium and mercury. This event offers the community a safe alternative. Most of the materials in e-waste — plastic, glass, metals and precious metals — are highly recyclable and have value if handled properly.
"This effort shows the commitment of Kansas State and the city of Manhattan to offer more recycling options that lead to a more sustainable community," Greene said.