On Friday, October 20, University Facilities and Services held its 16th annual E-Cycle Day. From 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., University students, staff, faculty, alumni, and affiliates lined up in the Zone 3 South Parking Lot to drop off old, broken, or unwanted electronics. A total of 254 cars stopped by for the event to recycle a total of 13,919 pounds, just under seven tons. The most popular time was between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. with 62 cars driving through, which is more than one car per minute. Facilities and Services collaborates with Sunnking each year, an electronics recycling company located throughout Central and Western New York.
Pallets were filled with a variety of electronics, including televisions, printers, microwaves, laptops, and cell phones. Small electronic items were most commonly collected, totaling 7,170 pounds. A large number of TVs (over 4,000 pounds) and computers (over 2,000 pounds) were also collected. Over the years, a cumulative total of 402,375 pounds of electronics have been collected in an environmentally responsible manner, totaling over 200 tons.
Employees from Sunnking, Medical Center Facilities Operations, and the Delta Upsilon (DU) fraternity helped make the event run smoothly the entire day. DU has partnered with the University to volunteer for this event for 14 years in a row. The volunteers assisted in removing items from cars and sorting them by various types of electronics. “As my first year participating, it’s awesome to see how many University employees and students are dropping off their electronics and truly caring about proper disposal,” shared Phil Piedmont, the University’s new waste minimization specialist who led this year’s event.
Many members of the University of Rochester community look forward to the event each year and for months beforehand. “I’ve been saving all kinds of stuff for months, knowing that the event was coming up. I’ve been coming to E-Cycle Day for as long as they’ve been doing it,” says Cheryl Kingston, Administrative Assistant in the Philosophy Department.
“I do this every year, it’s a great way to return the items and make sure they’re going back safely and not just into our trash” adds Melissa Kostrzebski, an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology.
Not only are University members happy to have a convenient way to get rid of old electronics, they also appreciate knowing their electronics will be recycled responsibly and securely. Sunnking is able to safely handle electronics that contain sensitive information.
“We want to be responsible so we don’t throw stuff in the trash. Our family members collect electronics, so we look forward to this every year.” says Jennifer Bowen, Librarian Emeritus of the River Campus Libraries.
Those who were not able to make it to E-Cycle Day this year can begin to collect items to drop off at next year’s event, or can head over to ecopark, a year-round recycling collection program offered through a partnership with Monroe County and Waste Management. University employees can also take advantage of the University’s IT Equipment Recovery Program, which securely recycles University-owned consumer or personal electronics for free. Pictures of the event can be found on the UR Sustainable Facebook page. Stay tuned for the 2024 E-Cycle Day announcement next year.
Written by Carmen Marshall ‘25
Photos by Phil Piedmont and Carmen Marshall / University of Rochester