Students encouraged to recycle electronics

Brett Johnson

Sacramento State students are encouraged to participate in an Earth Day event to learn about the importance of recycling electronic waste.

From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the Library Quad will be filled with booths set up for local vendors and environmentally focused organizations to pass along informative brochures and station educational videos. The event is organized by Sac State’s Environmental Studies Department and the University’s Recycling Committee.

“We collect electronic products for recycling throughout the event,” said Kevin Brisco, manager of recycling services. “Aside from that, we’re educating students on ‘green’ practices to promote sustainability around campus.”

Earth Day  has been celebrated since the 1970s, and at Sac State last year, the day was celebrated on a similarly large scale. A disc jockey and free food were provided for students during the event last year, and the same is planned for this year.

The on-site recycling collection service, which was limited last year given the lack of advertising, is going to be the major focus of the event this year.

“There just wasn’t sufficient enough promotion of the event,” said Laurel Rhodes, president of the Environmental Student Organization. “No student comes to school carrying around their old computers or printers. I don’t remember seeing much collection of recycling at all last year, so it’s going to be different this year.”

Electronic waste such as computers, laptops, televisions, radios, small kitchen appliances and other small electronic accessories will be accepted during the collection. Most of these products are known to contain materials such as lead and mercury, which are potentially hazardous to the environment.

“E-waste is a huge issue in our society,” Rhodes said. “Most of the electronic junk that we throw out is shipped out to third-world countries, where it is piled up in large landfills and burned. This process pollutes the air, water and land. Whatever we can do to prevent that is good.”

Recycling electronic waste means there is a chance for it to be re-purposed, as opposed to having it thrown in a landfill. Things like ink cartridges can be collected by the local vendors and easily reused in brand-new products.

Senior computer science major David Donnelly plans on bringing in a pair of old computer mice and keyboards for recycling that he would have otherwise thrown away.

“I will bring in whatever electronic waste I can find around the house,” Donnelly said. “I guess that’s better than nothing.”