Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tough Stuff Recycling Fest - RESULTS!

This year's IUSB Tough Stuff Recycling Fest was a huge success! I was physically sore (for two days!) from hoisting and wrapping hundreds of TVs and other electronics into pallets on Saturday. Thankfully, about 30 students, faculty, and staff worked together to make this event happen, so I was definitely not alone in this endeavor.

Without further adieu, here are the results:

Shoe Collection
We collected many, many shoes that will be donated to one of three organizations:
a) Seven 30-gallon bags of shoes to GoodWill (over 200 pounds)
b) Three 30-gallon bags to Nike Grind (soles will be ground up and used to make athletic courts)
c) One 30-gallon bag will be donated to Shoes-4-Africa (gently used athletic shoes are given to people who would not otherwise have shoes in Kenya, Africa)

Styrofoam and Packing Material
Approximately 900 gallons of packing peanuts and packing material were donated to UPS stores, and 900 gallons of styrofoam were sent to Michigan City for recycling.

Plastic Bags
900 gallons of plastic bags were given to WalMart for recycling.

Egg Cartons
Over 800 egg cartons were collected. These cartons are being given to local egg farmers.

Electronic Waste
We conservatively estimate that 100,000 pounds of electronics were diverted from the landfill. 25 of the pallets were nothing but Computers (we estimate 400+). Free Geek Michiana (see below) will test each of the computers, those that are viable will be rebuilt and donated back into the community to help overcome the digital divide and raise the IT capacity of the community as a whole. Electronic equipment contains toxic metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, that can leach into groundwater and contaminate soils. Recovering these toxic metals and other reuseable material from the electronics helps reduce the amount of raw material that needs to be mined and reduces contamination of water, soil, and air from landfills.

Four semi-trucks (donated by Apple Computers) will be collecting this equipment (104 pallets). All of the equipment will be recycled in the United States in an environmentally responsible manner. This collection would not have been possible without the generosity of Apple Computers and the IT technology departments on the Indiana University campuses!

Financial & Community Support
Community members generously donated more than $900 to help cover costs of this event and future sustainability events. During the first two hours, cars were backed up down Mishawaka Avenue, and there was a 20-30 minute wait to drop off. It was great to see individuals who had organized collections within their neighborhoods, and brought materials in pick-up trucks.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tough Stuff Recycling Fest Poster

Thanks to the fabulous marketing department at IU South Bend, we were able to get a really cool poster to help promote the upcoming recycling festival. 

Here is a link to the poster: http://mypage.iusb.edu/~mverges/fest

Feel free to share this poster with your friends!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tough Stuff Recycling Fest!

Please mark your calendar for this event - the Recycling Committee at IU South Bend has organized its annual recycling festival the week of April 19 - 25.

From Monday, April 19th, to Saturday, April 25th, people can drop off the items listed below at IU South Bend campus locations: Administration Building (Grille cafeteria), Student Activities Center, Northside Hall, and Wiekamp Hall:

STYROFOAM - Expanded polystyrene #6 (we can only accept white, small beaded, Styrofoam that has a recycling symbol that says #6 PS; e.g., Styrofoam coolers, Styrofoam used to pack electronics)


EGG CARTONS (any type)

PLASTIC BAGS (any type, including grocery bags, dry cleaning, bread bags, newspaper, etc)

SHOES - shoes need to be rubber banded together in pairs

On Saturday, April 25th, from 10am - 2pm behind the Administration Building, in addition to all of the items listed above, we will also be collecting:

COMPUTERS - $15 charge for each monitor

• Giving away
TV COUPONS (one coupon per household) from the St. Joseph Solid Waste Management District. These coupons will allow you to take your used TV to Solid Waste for proper recycling free of charge (TVs will not be collected at IUSB, but must be dropped of at Hazardous Waste Facility on 5th Street in Mishawaka).

What will be done with the materials collected?
Styrofoam will be taken to the TEGRANT Corporation in Michigan City, where it will be remolded into new Styrofoam containers. Packing peanuts and bubble wrap will be taken to UPS stores. Egg cartons will be given to local chicken farmers and churches. Plastic bags will be recycled at Wal-Mart and area grocery stores. Shoes will be sent to the Shoes-4-Africa program, local Goodwill, and really worn shoes will be sent to Nike Grind (to be ground and used to make surfaces for athletic courts). Computers will be refurbished by Free Geek and redistributed to lower income households in Michiana.

This event is being sponsored by the Environmental Justice Club, Recycling Committee, and Center for a Sustainable Future.

I hope to see many friendly faces at this year's event!