Just two weeks ago, I boastfully said that the Green Michiana Sustainability Fair was a success. But I didn't have much evidence to suport this claim. Now I do - see below for a list of results that everyone accomplished at the fair. Hopefully, next year we'll be able to replicate these achievements.
Plastic bags: We collected over 156,000 plastic bags for recycling by Wal-Mart.
Styrofoam peanuts: We collected 2,000 gallons of styrofoam peanuts that will be reused in UPS packaging stores. Some of the peanuts will be used by the IU-South Bend Arts department in their sculpture art classes.
Expanded polystyrene #6: We collected approximately 5,000 gallons of expanded polystyrene (EPS) #6 (styrofoam used to pack electronic equipment and make coolers). This material will be used by Tegrant Corporation in Michigan City, Indiana (produce ThermoSafe Packaging). The white beads are broken apart, mixed with new styrofoam beads, and remolded into new styrofoam containers. The new styrofoam containers will contain about 10% of the “recycled” styrofoam. We collected 2.5 times more peanuts and “styrofoam” in 2008 compared to 2007. This amount of styrofoam filled a 24-foot moving truck about 75% full (floor to ceiling).
Egg Cartons: Over 300 egg cartons were collected. These egg cartons will be used by local farmers and a church group.
Computers: Free Geek Michiana collected 80 computers, 20 monitors, and associated keyboards, and mice.
Cell Phones: About ten cell phones were collected. Cell phones that can be reused will be reprogrammed for use by women groups. Very old cell phones or damaged cell phones will be recycled by Technotrash (an electronics recycling company).
49 businesses and organizations (government, non-profit groups, and citizen groups)participated in the fair. A rough estimate of 700+ people attended the fair. Coordinated efforts by the Recycling Committee, Sustainability Committee, Environmental Justice Club, Custodial staff, Support Services, Facilities, and the IUSB Events Office made this fair possible.