Today is America Recycles Day (of course, at SMC, EVERY day is recycle day)!
Did you know that in the state of Vermont, electronics are banned from the landfill? They are and have been since January 2011! That means it’s illegal for students, staff and faculty to put any type of electronic device/object in the dumpsters.
The Toxic Side of our Electronics
Why are electronics banned from the landfill? They contain toxic materials (such as lead, mercury, chromium, brominated flame-retardants, beryllium, arsenic, phthalates etc.!) that are harmful to humans, wildlife and our environment. Electronics should be recovered and recycled or disposed of responsibly so that all those toxic materials don't end up in our bodies, animals and our surrounding environment.
Saint Michael’s Responsible Disposal of ElectronicsAt Saint Mike’s, we make every effort to make sure electronics from our campus are responsibly taken care of. How? For the past four years we have partnered with Good Point Recycling, one of the region’s leading “e-waste” recycling operations based in Middlebury. Good Point is operated by American Retroworks Inc, a nationally recognized electronic recycling company and a respected expert in “Fair Trade Recycling.” By using Good Point, we ensure that the electronics from our campus do not end up in backyard recycling operations in developing countries. Learn more about Good Point: http://www.retroworks.net/
The Bad Side of E-Waste
There are unfortunately some companies out there that find it more “expensive” to properly recycle electronic items. For them, they feel that there is more money to be had by shipping the electronics to developing countries (India, Nigeria, Ghana, China) where they end up in backyard recycling operations. Here, workers have very little safety protection to handle the electronics: workers will smash and burn them to retrieve the valuable metals inside. This process exposes not only the workers, but the surrounding environment as well, to the horrible toxics inside.