Broken air-conditioning units, unworkable computer monitors, keyboards, and binding machines showed up on the Austin College campus on Saturday, November 6, looking for a new home.
The electronic waste, or “e-waste,” was dropped off by Austin College, Presco, and community members to be recycled and refurbished as part of Austin College’s Great Day of Service and the Thinking Green initiative. The College and Presco each recycled 7 pallets of recyclables piled at least four feet high, and 39 individuals brought their personal e-waste.
“If we had been any more successful, we wouldn’t have been able to handle the volume,” biology lab coordinator Kim Snipes said.
The College recycled old computers, printers, monitors, power supplies and voltmeters. Several people dropped off their old computers and TVs, and one community member brought the largest donation: a trailer full of old refrigerators and appliances.
The College partnered with certified green recycler, e-Waste Collections of Irving, Texas, to ensure proper processing. The recycling for most materials was free, except for cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs and monitors, which had a small disposal fee because of the extra handling they require.
The collected items will be reviewed for possible reuse or refurbishing, which applies to about 20 to 30 percent of the items. Many refurbished items are sold to schools and charities at discounts, and others are broken down at the recycling facility for parts and materials. Raw materials such as steel, aluminum, copper, glass, and plastics are recovered and processed.
Snipes said additional e-waste recycling events are being planned for next year.
Austin College Thinking Green is part of the College’s commitment to sustainability and responsible stewardship as part of the President’s Climate Commitment. The program emphasizes lifestyle changes such as recycling.
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges that Change Lives.