Sunday, September 4, 2011

Recycling E-Waste as a School Fundraiser

Do you collect box tops for education throughout the summer and send your kids into school with a zip-lock baggie full on the first day of school? I do. I guess it's my way of giving the program a jump start. I am happy to contribute box tops instead of buying candy or wrapping paper from an overpriced fundraiser. Too often fundraisers pay the school a pittance and generate enormous profits for themselves.
Did you know that collecting electronic waste, called e-waste, can be a lucrative fundraiser that costs the parents nothing? I have been paying attention lately to green living initiatives and how to keep waste, especially e-waste, from our landfills through repurposing and recycling. Because electronics like cell phones, handheld game systems and computers and TV's are frequently replaced with newer, faster models, electronic waste is the fastest growing stream of waste to our landfills.
I opened the junk drawer, and with no effort at all found a collection of 4 old cell phones and 3 empty ink cartridges. I did some online research and found that IF there were recycling programs in our schools this trash could generate about $10. This pile doesn't even include the broken laptops (3), old iPods (4) and other e-waste hanging around.
E-waste we gathered from around the house.
I have to do some more research before committing to a program to bring to my kids' schools. I want to make sure the company buying the e-waste from the school is reputable, is committed to supporting the environment and education, and will give us the most for our donations. I'll post the findings. But I am convinced already. Recycling old phones and used ink cartridges saves the environment but curbing the flow of e-waste to our landfills and makes money for schools. If your school has an e-waste recycling program tell me about it in the comments.