North Texas Daily

Event aims to recycle scrap metal

Event aims to recycle scrap metal

Event aims to recycle scrap metal
April 20
23:28 2015

Steven James / Senior Staff Writer

Anyone who needs to recycle old electronics in an environmentally-sound and legal way will get their chance at the Health Science Center Office of Sustainability’s E-Waste Recycle event.

The event will take place this Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the center in Fort Worth at the intersection of Bunting and Haskell Avenues. The last event, held in 2013, brought in nearly 2.5 tons of recyclable waste.

Sustainability coordinator Sandy Bauman said the point of holding the recycling event is to keep harmful substances, such as heavy metals, out of landfills. Bauman said the metals found in certain electronics like smartphones, televisions and tablets can be recycled and used again in other electronics.

According to Texas Campaign for the Environment, Texas currently has 12 landfills measuring over 200 feet tall.

Thursday’s event is held in partnership with ECS Refining, an electronics recycling company founded in 1980 that focuses on scrap and consumer products. The HSC will work with the ECS factory in Mesquite, Texas.

Bauman said people who bring electronics to recycle will be entered into a contest for a Kindle Fire tablet. She also said products with Freon, toxic gases and liquids that are typically used in aerosol and refrigerants such as air conditioners, will not be accepted.

Bauman said the center gets 5 cents back per pound for every item donated.

“There is zero-waste recycling so nothing goes to the landfill,” Bauman said. “A lot of these things we use have precious metals in them. That’s why we get money back, because these things are valuable.”

Bauman said similar events are held throughout the year in Denton, Arlington, Grapevine, Austin and Corpus Christi.

After the electronics are put onto the truck, the truck goes to ECS Refining.

“We want to make sure that electronics are handled properly,” regional municipal services manager Cheri Reynolds Howard said. “Keeping it out of the landfill saves natural resources.”

Reynolds Howard said electronics are put through a shredder once they come to a factory to protect personal information.

She said the electronics need to stay in the United States and not go overseas.

“I’m sure people have seen news commercials of children in third world countries playing with electronics,” she said.

Reynolds Howard said there are two types of certification programs for electronics recycling companies. One is the Responsible Recycling Practices, or R2, certification, and the e-Stewards standards certification.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency website, companies with the certifications are supposed to increase quality and accessibility of reusable materials to people who need them, reduce health and environmental impacts from inappropriate recycling techniques and conserve natural resources.

Social work sophomore Faith Moore said she thinks events like E-Waste help maintain the environment.

“It’s so easy to just recycle your stuff,” Moore said. “Even if your electronics work, you can just give them to someone else.”

Featured Image: A pile of broken cell phones lay in a recycling container. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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