The 10th annual E-Cycle Day event was held on Friday, November 10th in the Zone 3 South parking lot. Starting at 6:30 in the morning, University faculty and staff braved the first snow of the season to drop off their old or broken electronics to be recycled. Despite the blustery conditions, a total of 26,744 pounds of material was collected! The electronics are recycled each year through Sunnking. Representatives from Sunnking worked with members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity to unload vehicles and organize the electronics onto wooden pallets and into large cardboard boxes.
One of the first attendees to arrive to this year’s event was Glen Gates from the Laser Lab, who said he has “been attending the event for at least five or six years.” He said that he “love[s] participating every year and [he] think[s] it’s a wonderful event that Facilities does.” Glen wasn’t the only one to return to this event many years in a row throughout the decade that the annual E-Cycle Day event has been held. There have been many people who come back every year with more things that they’ve personally accrued or that they have collected from those around them. Mary Ellen Nugent from the Financial Aid department said, “I love being able to recycle electronics and I encourage my family to do it. I think we have a responsibility to be a part of things like this.”
Throughout the day, E-Cycle volunteers collected an assortment of electronics from the line of vehicles including: televisions, computers, cell phones, printers, stereos, microwaves, and everything in between. Materials were organized onto pallets which were then wrapped in plastic wrap and loaded into Sunnking’s truck to be brought to their recycling facility. The company recycles cardboard and shrink wrap generated from its events, and has achieved R2 certification from New York State.
E-Cycle Day is held for University of Rochester staff, faculty, and students to extend the life of their electronics in a safe and convenient way; by first refurbishing and reselling or dismantling for parts, then by recycling what cannot be resold. Michael Yergeau from Central Utilities said, “these things tend to be quite tedious and hard to get rid of, so this is really helpful. We save stuff all year for this event.” Since the disposing electronics in a landfill is illegal in New York State, e-waste recycling events and organizations are even more important.
Sustainability Coordinator Amy Kadrie, who organizes the event each year, would like to thank the brothers of the Delta Upsilon fraternity who sent volunteers to work at the event for the 8th year in a row. She would also like to thank Ulysses Holmes and Rob Morrow of Medical Center Facilities Operations, as well as Cindy Jessop and the crew from Sunnking. “Even though we were all freezing, everyone worked really hard, displayed excellent customer service, and even smiled the whole way through!” said Kadrie. Pictures this year’s event are posted to the UR Sustainable Facebook page here.
Recycling electronics prevents material waste, energy waste, and avoids the leakage of harmful, toxic chemicals from the cast-off electronics into the ground, and eventually into the water supply. The event also raises awareness that the option to recycle electronics is available and effective. If you missed E-Cycle Day or have more electronics you would like to dispose of, ecopark is another option. Ecopark is an electronics recycling center for Monroe County residents that can be utilized all year long.
Written by Mariah Greico, Class of 2018