More than 3.2 million tons of electronic waste, or E-Waste, is dispensed into landfills each year, harming the environment as well as humans.
In order to help reduce the amount of E-Waste produced each year, the Student Green Electronics Campaign will organize a recycling drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 8 at the Geisert Hall parking lot.
The SGEC, founded in spring 2008, is a group of students who are dedicated to helping reduce E-Waste through an annual recycling event. The SGEC partners with Illinois E-waste Recycling and Reuse.
The electronics collected will be taken to their facility, broken down into parts and recycled properly.
SGEC was founded by senior advertising major Leah Moran during her sophomore year.
“One of the reasons we began our event was because students would leave at the end of the school year and leave behind their electronics (fridges, microwaves, laptops, etc.),” she said. “It was a huge pain for staff members to collect it from the dumpsters or dorms. We want to prevent this from happening in the future.”
SGEC Vice President for Public Relations Melissa Wahl said it is important for students to take part in reducing E-Waste.
“Our generation is so technologically minded,” she said. “If our group can make even the smallest group of people on campus aware of the dangers, then maybe it will grow, and more students will be aware over time.”
Wahl said since SGEC was founded, the group has progressed over the years.
“Our first year, we didn’t collect as much as we were hoping to, even though we surpassed our goal,” she said. “Last year, we were overwhelmed at how many people showed up to bring us their electronics, and we surpassed our goal again. We’re hoping to continue to do so this year, and collect even more than we did last year.”
Moran said the second year of the drive saw a dramatic increase from its first year, when the amount of electronics recycled jumped from 1,500 pounds to 6,100 pounds.
Regardless of the progress, Moran said she still has more expectations for the organization.
“It is our hope that next year we can form a year-round recycling request system so students can request a pick-up through a website or form and we can help them dispose of their electronics at any point in the year,” she said. “We are also hoping to partner with other environmental groups on campus to teach students about green living.”