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NPARL Electronics Recycling Program How we did it and how you can, too! Community Electronics Recycling Events
The Beginning • Government agencies have been proactive in use of “green” products and recycling • In looking to recycle our e-waste, discovered there weren’t too many avenues in our neck of the woods, at least that were affordable.
Why We Started Our Program • We wanted to dispose of our own E-waste in an environmentally friendly manner. • Concern for our environment • Anticipation of new regulations • Needed the space! • Weren’t many affordable options in our area…then saw article in “Billings Gazette” about a Cheyenne, WY company that recycled electronics. Discovered they also offered a special community collection event rate / program. • Decided to host an event and open it to the community. • Educate the community about E-waste and its toxins and how recycling these products will protect our environment.
Partnering • ARS representatives brought their electronic waste collection proposal to a monthly meeting of the Local Emergency Planning Committee. LEPC agreed to help. • ARS reps then presented information to other County entities. While supportive of the event, no funds were available for it.
Building Community Support • ARS Information Specialist (Beth Redlin) and Safety Specialist (Jackie Couture) worked together to create the “E-rase your E-waste” logo to “brand” the event in the minds of the public. • They produced educational brochures, posters, displays, and a web page using the logo to provide additional information and sent informational letters to businesses and, of course, articles and PSA’s to local media outlets.http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=8445
Building Community Support Did in-kind/no-cost promotions: • Sent notices/press releases to local media and various websites and set up exhibits at county fairs. • Contacted local TV channel news shows - appeared on noon show, with reporters following up with coverage of the event and on the nightly news….wasn’t hard to get them interested. • Over the years have used some more non-traditional vehicles…grocery dividers…inserts into electric bills… both of those offered by e-waste committee members. Also in process of setting up new website.
Members of Sidney’s “E-rase your E-waste” group with ‘07 fair display.
2005 Event Gets Noticed • Received several calls/e-mails from people interested in hosting similar events. Prompted us to make our “E-rase your E-waste” information and templates freely available on the ARS website to encourage others to e-cycle. • Several communities and schools have since taken advantage of them, including one event targeting 48,000 residents of a California city and another at a Texas school. • MT DEQ also adopted our “E-rase your E-waste” title and artwork to help promote its own e-cycling programs.
2007 “E-rase your E-waste” Event • Last year we did a back-to-back event with Williston, ND, described as our “Cross-border, Cooperative E-rase Your E-waste Event.” • Both communities sought donations to help reduce costs for participants. • Shared a weekend, an e-cycler, publicity materials, appeared together on TV noon shows, etc. but also did “our own thing” when it came to seeking/administering donations and operating the actual events.
2007 Event Stats • Sidney: • One day – Friday, 8-6, at ARS • Collected $1,950.00 in donations. Enabled us to offer 75% off on first 200 lbs. per customer and do limited paid advertising. Cost per pound is .40 cents. • Collected 18,460 lbs. from 77 individuals and 25 businesses to which almost doubled from 2006. • Pounds collected doubled from 2006 event and was more than both 2005 & 2006 event together! Needed second truck!
2007 Event Stats • Williston: • One day – Saturday, 8-3, at Wal-Mart • Collected $1,800 in donations. Offered 50% off on the first 200 lbs per customer, until funding ran out. • Collected 11,522 lbs from 102 individuals and businesses.
Community Event Results - Sidney • 2005:8,385 lbs collected~ 554 lbs of lead and 0.14 lbs of mercury • 2006:9,336 lbs collected ~ 916 lbs of lead and 0.19 lbs of mercury • 2007:18,460 lbs collected. ~ 1,719 lbs of lead and 0.44 lbs of mercury • Grand Total: 36,181 lbs of electronic waste kept out of our local landfill from 2005-2007. Estimated 3,189 lbs of lead and 0.77 lbs of mercury diverted from landfill since 2005.
Program Impact - Here and Elsewhere • Obvious environmental benefits, but also extends life of landfill • Appears to be “tip of the iceberg” • Community support remains strong, with participation growing each year • Local businesses, city have donated money to offset costs for participants ($800 in 2006; $1,500+ in 2007) • Other communities in area following our lead as is MT DEQ • Held joint event with Williston in 2007, and will again in 2008 • Glasgow is adding event with our help in 2009 • Have had inquiries from Lewistown, Minot, Glendive
2007 Pilot Projects Amount Collected Location Pounds Tons Billings 26,221 13.11 Kalispell 14,340 7.17 Missoula 18,912 9.46 35.00 Butte 70,000 Sidney 18,460 9.23 Great Falls 30,000 15.00 Helena 80,000 40.00 Bozeman 136,520 68.26 157.23 314,453 Sandra Boggs, Recycling and Market Development Specialist – MT DEQ
2008 Event – September 5-6 • Once again, combined with Williston, but events are running at same times • Working to expand and sustain our efforts! • Working with e-cycler and local Solid Waste Committee to add additional drop times and place In August for those unable to make our regular event • Making a point in our publicity of letting people know what other e-cycling opportunities are out there
Anticipating New e-Waste Concerns • Planning another event to follow up on the Feb.19 digital TV conversion: https://www.dtv2009.gov/ • Also including information on Compact Florescent Lights:http://www.deq.state.mt.us/Recycle/Real_Question.asp
Advice for Other Communities • Have a committee to help withall aspects of the event. • Apply for grants, ask for donations to help lower costs for participants. • Don’t need to spend a lot on advertising. Public announcements are usually free and effective. • Event best held in fall (non-summer) months. • Event should take place in parking lot with 2 egress spots for easy flow of traffic. Ours is held just on edge of community. May want to use traffic cones to help guide vehicles.
Advice for Other Communities • Check with your e-cycler about special rates for businesses bringing larger amounts or for schools. ____________________________________ • E-rase your E-waste templates available at:http://www.ars.usda.gov/npa/nparl(Click on “Safety Info” then “E-rase your E-waste” in Left Navigation Bar) __________________________________________ Questions? Jackie.Couture@ars.usda.gov