By Dalton Carver
Staff reporter

When you hear the term “e-waste,” several things may come to mind. Online junk mail, spam messages or even advertisements that pop up when you’re visiting a website. However, e-waste has nothing to do with the Internet. It is electronic material that is no longer in use and, if thrown away as garbage, will refuse to decompose in landfills.

To counter a small portion of this problem, Sally McGuire, liberal arts and sciences senior, organized an e-waste recycling event at the Winfield fairgrounds last Sunday. The event was part of weekend-long clean-up event leading up to Earth Day. In addition to the event being good for the environment, it also served as McGuire’s senior Leadership project.

“I wanted to do something in the environmental world and I was talking to Jason [Speegle] about it,” McGuire said. “He said a few years ago they did something like this and it was wildly successful.”

Partnering with Frito Lay’s e-waste program, McGuire collected used technology on pallets that would later be picked by a semi-truck. The truck would then deliver the e-waste to Asset LifeCycle, a recycling facility. Upon being delivered, the items will be refurbished, taken apart for parts or recycled.

“I got in touch with some someone from Frito Lay and I was so happy I did,” McGuire said. “They’re taking it all up for free in one of their trucks.”

Despite not having a specific goal to reach, McGuire received many e-waste drop-offs throughout the day. Several pallets were quickly filled, wrapped and loaded onto the Frito Lay truck. Some of the items that were considered e-waste included old computers, cell phones, batteries, and even typewriters.

Carlos Cruz, marine biology sophomore and member of the Leadership team, helped load the pallets at McGuire’s event. “I decided to do this because it’s a good cause and will help improve the environment,” he said.

Even though the event may have been small, the impact could grow to be great. “It’s really bad for the Earth when you throw away electronic equipment, especially batteries, into a landfill,” said Cruz. “It’s not really recyclable and it ruins the soil.”

“I think we’re doing good so far,” said McGuire. “For it being done so quickly, I’m glad that we’ve gotten what we’ve gotten.”

Dalton Carver is a sophomore majoring in communication. You can email him at dalton.carver@sckans.edu or tweet him @dalty_james.