E-waste is a growing problem; a by-product of rampant consumerism and a perceived need to always have the latest and greatest technology. Often, when devices are break, they’re more cost effective to repair than replace. This is great for the owners with new items, but the old ones need a place to go, and that’s usually in the bin.
Something many people don’t know, however is the local waste services can handle e-waste, taking proper care of the hazardous materials. As this may be seen as a hassle by individuals, community groups can cater to the neighbourhood by organising an e-waste clean-up drive. This will give community members simple means to dispose of their old items in the proper way.
Checking interest levels in the neighbourhood is a simple, but important way to start. There’s no point organising a clean-up drive if there’s nothing to clean up! Simply go door to door and ask a few brief questions about what kinds of e-waste the residents have – batteries, keyboards, TVs, mobile phones etc. This will not only help gauge interest, but also estimate the level of waste that could be collected.
This is also a good time to chat to neighbours and help them understand the importance of why the drive is taking place. Let them know it’s all about keeping these items, many of which have components made from finite resources, out of landfill. Parts of them can be repurposed or recycled, and those that can’t are disposed of in the most environmentally sound way possible by local waste services.
Set up collection points
Give advance warning of the clean-up drive’s date. When it comes, set up in a central spot in the neighbourhood with multiple containers for collection of e-waste. Label them clearly, so people will know to separate items like batteries that can be potentially hazardous. Larger items, like televisions and computer monitors may need to be loaded directly onto the truck (a truck will surely be necessary) that will transport them to the tip.