Office of Sustainability will host electronic recycling drive

Lauren Biertempfel

The Kent State Office of Sustainability will host an E-cycle Drive that will give students the opportunity to recycle old electronics.

The electronic waste drive, which is part of Recyclemania, is open to the public and will take place on March 17 and 18 with two drop-off sites on Kent’s campus.

Melanie Knowles, manager of sustainability, said the event is an opportunity for people to recycle their personally owned electronic-waste. One of the competitions within Recyclemania looks at the amount of electronic-waste a school can recycle in a one-month period.

“The university already recycles university-owned electronic-waste year-round, and we will capture those numbers to submit to Recyclemania,” Knowles said. “The Recyclemania rules allow us to include a public e-waste drive, and that is how we got around to creating this event.”

There are two collections sites for the two-day event. The first site is located by the Tri-Towers area desk, and the other is near the dock of the Administration Services building, located off of Jackson Drive, Knowles said.

Staff members will be at the collection sites to help unload large items and weigh all of the old electronics that are brought in. Those weights are recorded and then reported to Recyclemania, Knowles said.

In 2014, Kent State collected 10,550 pounds of electronic-waste, Knowles said.

Outreach and Recycling Coordinator Leah Graham said students participating are encouraged to post pictures of them recycling their waste and use #KSUrecycles, which enters them in a drawing for a weekly prize.

“The electronics drive that we offer once a year is an opportunity for students to recycle items that they might not normally have a chance to recycle,” Graham said. “Electronics are important to recycle because they have a lot of heavy metals in them that can be used again.”

Director of RET3 Ken Kovatch said Kent State works year round with RET3, a Cleveland-based non-profit company that recycles old electronics and is backed by a “no landfill” agreement.

“The reason we recycle electronics is to keep most of the waste of the electronics out of landfills,” Kovatch said.

RET3 collects at least one truckload of old electronics from Kent State every month, Kovatch said.

Those electronics are then stripped down, and the working parts are put into other computers and electronics to make them work, he said.

It’s important to keep electronics, especially computers, out of landfills because they contain hazardous chemicals, Kovatch said. Computers contain lead and phosphor in the glass computer monitors, lithium in the batteries and mercury, which is in the fluorescent tubes in laptops.

For more information on the E-cycle drive, or to see a map of the collection sites, visit https://www.facebook.com/KentStateSusty

Contact Lauren Biertempfel at [email protected]