On Friday, October 30, University Facilities and Services held its 13th annual E-Cycle Day from 6:30am to 1:00pm in the Zone 3 South parking lot for University staff, faculty, and students to safely recycle old, broken, or unwanted electronic equipment. The electronics are recycled each year through Sunnking, a local EPA R2 certified electronics recycling, data destruction, and asset management company, specializing in end-of-life electronics and equipment.
Why is E-Cycle Day important? The event raises awareness that recycling electronics is necessary and effective. After taking appropriate security measures to destroy all personal information, Sunnking makes its best effort to resell or reuse electronics. Those that cannot be reused or resold are recycled and used to make new products. Recycling electronics prevents material and energy waste. It also avoids the leakage of harmful, toxic chemicals from the cast-off electronics into the ground, and eventually into the water supply.
How does the event run so efficiently? Volunteers help make the event convenient for participants by unloading electronics from vehicles and sorting them onto pallets which are then wrapped in plastic and loaded into Sunnking’s truck to return to their recycling facility. There was an assortment of electronics including: televisions, computers, cell phones, printers, keyboards, stereos, fans, and everything in between.
What safety precautions were taken this year in light of the pandemic? Volunteers and attendees complied with a mask requirement while at the event. Volunteers also completed a health screening and maintained social distancing throughout the day. The drive-through set-up of this event naturally helped to minimize contact.
What was the result? A total of 27,952 pounds of electronics was collected this year which is 5,020 pounds more than last year’s total. Fewer CRT televisions were collected than in years past. Since these TVs tend to be heavy this makes the total collection weight even more impressive. Despite electronics becoming smaller and lighter, this year’s collection was extremely successful, most likely due to at-home cleanouts being very popular during the pandemic. Over the years, a total of 353,828 pounds of electronics have been collected through E-Cycle Day.
The success was made possible by the volunteers who worked at the event, Sunnking, and everyone who came to recycle their electronics. A special thanks to Reid Anderson and the brothers of Delta Upsilon for volunteering at the event for the eleventh year in a row as well as Michael Dodge and Jacob Nelson of Medical Center Facilities Operations, Kim VanOrman , Mike Hendricks and Helena Chamberlain of Support Operations, and Cindy Jessop and the crew from Sunnking. Pictures from the event can be found on the UR Sustainable Facebook page here.
Residents of Monroe County who missed E-Cycle Day can start collecting electronics for E-Cycle Day 2021 or may utilize Ecopark, a recycling collection facility open year long. Employees can also take advantage of University IT’s Equipment Recovery Program to securely recycle University-owned consumer electronics or personal electronics free of charge.
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022