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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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eWaste drive comes to a close Thursday

For 10 days the Texas A&M Information Technology, the Environmental Issues Committee and the School of Public Health have teamed up to conduct an electronic waste recycling drive.

 

Texas A&M Information Technology provides a variety of services to students and the university, including Wi-Fi, Texas A&M Gmail, a help desk for computer repairs and a software center. The drive began on April 17 and will conclude April 27. Texas A&M’s Environmental Issues Committee works to provide and support programs that enhance environmental education and awareness through events such as the recycling drive. These programs are aimed to reduce the community’s impact on the environment and sound environmental legislation on and off campus in order to improve quality of life.

 

IT Communications Coordinator Julie Rogers said the rewards of the eWaste drive extend far beyond the Bryan-College Station area.

 

“The goal of the eWaste campaign is to eliminate electronic waste from our local landfills,” Rogers said. “Currently, the United States produces more eWaste than any other country in the world. Up to 50 million tons of electronic waste are expected to be dumped this year, mainly computers and smartphones. By participating in the eWaste movement, campus members keep potential electronic waste from harming both humans and the environment.”

   

Civil engineering junior Hailey Mueller Lavigne and Chief Student Leader for the Environmental Issues Committee and said improper recycling methods directly affect the fundamentals of the environment.

“Our goal is to collect electronic waste from students and staff as many of these products contain hard metals and chemicals that, when not properly handled, can cause damage to groundwater,” Lavigne said. “The dangers in electronic waste lie in the materials used. Batteries contain harsh and harmful acids and other components of these electronics are heavy metals and plastics, which go through toxic degradation which can harm bodies of water, soil and wildlife.”

According to biomedical science senior and EIC General Officer Abby Spiegelman, the assemblage of electronic waste is exponentially rising.

   

“There are more mobile phones than people living and the growth rate of electronic waste is rapidly increasing,” Spiegelman said. “The estimated rate of increase is 33 percent by the end of 2017. 40 percent of heavy metals in landfills come from electronics and the toxins they bring can be harmful to the environment as they degrade.”

 

The electronic waste drive has completed its first week and has already produced impressive results, according to Lavigne, who said she believes this coming week will entail even more success.

 

“Last year we collected over 1,300 pounds of waste,” Lavigne said. “At this point in the drive, several of our members have filled their back seats and truck beds already and I think we’ll hit that number again this year.”
The electronic waste drive will end April 27 at noon. There are many locations where students can dispose of their used electronics including the MSC, General Services Complex, West Campus Library and more.

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