Engineering Students and Goodwill to Hold Electronic Recycling Drive

March 23, 2009

Event: Austin-wide electronics recycling drive offered free to the community.

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 28

Where: Collection point for electronic waste is at Lot 39 of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library parking lot on campus. A map can be found online.

Background: The Student Engineering Council (SEC), with Goodwill Computer Works, will hold an Austin-wide electronic waste (e-waste) recycling drive to collect unused and disposable electronics and electronic parts that cannot be discarded through standard methods of waste collection and recycling.

The public is invited to drop off any personal electronics to for free recycling.

Examples of acceptable items: Computers, fax machines, scanners, printers, copiers, DVD/VCR players, televisions, cables or wires, MP3 players and cell phones.

Unacceptable items: Non-computer plastics, hazardous materials, iron-containing metals, paper or wood, refrigerators, other appliances.

Organizers estimate that about 160 volunteers will be needed to help with the event.

The inaugural e-waste drive promotes and assists in the preservation of finite resources, as well as to prevent health hazards which often occur as a result of improper electronic waste disposal. SEC and Goodwill plan to collect 50 tons of electronic waste.

University of Texas at Austin student groups and councils are invited to help collect waste from individual homes delivery to the collection site the day of the drive. Participating organizations will earn points based on the electronics they bring to the drive, either from their members or from residents of their assigned parts of the city. Organizations with the most points will win cash prizes, up to $1,000.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 82 percent or 1.8 million tons of televisions, cell phones and computer products ready for end-of-life management are discarded primarily in landfills. Computers, cameras and cell phones are filled with highly toxic materials, such as lead, mercury, cadmium and brominated flame retardants.

For more information or to volunteer, go to www.engr.utexas.edu/sec/service/index.html.

Note to Editors: Video footage or live shots can be scheduled the day before the event at the Goodwill Computer Works Store where the processing and recycling occur. Video footage or live shots can also be scheduled the day of the event.

For more information, contact: Daniel Vargas; Robin Llewellyn, Goodwill Industries of Central Texas, 512-637-7177; Emily Chen, Student Engineering Council, 713-539-3313; Sarah Pederson, Student Engineering Council, 512-773-5896.