CSUN organizes e-waste recycling event

On Friday CSUN will be hosting an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling event for the campus and surrounding community to help people properly dispose of their electronic waste at CSUN parking lot G10 (Lassen and Zelzah).

E-waste is any electronic device: cell phones, batteries, cords/wires, ink cartridges, florescent bulbs, TV’s, computers, calculators, MP3 players, etc.  These items contain hazardous materials that need to be disposed of properly and should not be placed in normal recycling bins.

Associated Students Campus Recycling Service is co-sponsoring the e-waste event with CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability; they will be using All Green Electronics Recycling.

According to Cyndi Signett, the recycling coordinator for Associated Students Campus Recycling Services, they’ve been considering the idea of doing an e-waste event for several years, but it always fell through.

“(All Green) presented this to the Chancellor’s office,” Signett said.  “They said ‘Hey this is a great opportunity for this (e-waste recycling) to happen and to recycle and work as a community event because that’s really where they were coming from, the external community, as well as the university.

“No one was forced to get on board. It was just offered to everyone and it was ‘does this work into your plans’ and well we’ve been looking at it so why not?”

Signett and Sarah Johnson, the administrative coordinator for CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability worked together to bring the event to fruition.

“We want to educate students and the community,” Johnson, said, a 2009 Alumna.

Many people are still uneducated about e-waste and the appropriate methods of disposal.

Mayra Barrios, 19 a business management freshman, said she was never taught about e-waste in high school. While she doesn’t throw outdated electronics away, it’s not because she was taught not to.

“I feel like it’s not right,” Barrios said.

Victoria Reyes, 17, an Eagle Rock High School senior who was on campus for an EOP admissions interview, said she was not taught about e-waste at her high school. In fact, she didn’t even know what electronic waste was.  She said she throws expired batteries away and did not realize there are places that will dispose of them properly.

“I give them (cell phones) away sometimes, to whomever needs an extra phone,” Reyes said.

According to e-stewards.org, an organization that is a product of the Basel Action Network, substances in e-waste can be extremely harmful if not disposed of properly.

“The toxic materials in electronics can cause cancer, reproductive disorders, endocrine disruption, and many other health problems if this waste stream is not properly managed,” states the website.

Some of the hazardous materials can seep into the land and water supply.

“They (e-waste) shouldn’t end up in a landfill because they contain hazardous materials that can be recycled and reused for other purposes,” Johnson said.  “There’s a whole issue about how things are hazardous and subsequently enters the water supply, cause contamination and ends up in the ocean, so it needs to be disposed of properly.”

According to Signett it will be a drive thru type of thing where people will drive up to the site, let the items be taken from their car and then answer a few questions about the items.  She said they want to make it as easy and quick as possible.

The Electronics Recycling Event will be in Lot G10, at Lassen and Zelzah, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.