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There’s a place for everything, even e-waste

July 29, 2014

Almost everyone has some form of electronic waste (e-waste) gathering dust in their home. But few people know that it can usually be diverted from landfills and recycled into new, useable items.

That’s why Jason Ash, Kronau project environmental lead, organized a community e-waste recycling day earlier this month. E-waste is discarded or unwanted electrical or electronic devices such as old cellphones, computers or televisions.

 Kronau project manager, Matthew Wood, helps sort e-waste. Photo by Michelle Nicholson, The Star Newspaper.

Kronau project manager, Matthew Wood, helps sort e-waste. Photo by Michelle Nicholson, The Star Newspaper.

“We wanted to get the community involved and make an impact, even if it was just a small one,” said Ash. “I did some research and discovered that 50 per cent of Saskatchewan residents have e-waste to dispose of, however less than 70 per cent use the Saskatchewan Waste Electronic Equipment Program (SWEEP).”

The main reasons why the e-waste program is underused, according to Ash, are lack of awareness and lack of convenience. Ash discovered that both the hamlet of Kronau and the Rural Municipality of Edenwold, where the project is located, are underserved when it comes to e-waste collection.

“Neither of these places have direct access to an e-waste recycling facility,” said Ash. “So in order to participate in the program, all of their residents have to drive to Regina. I wanted to encourage our neighbours to partake in the SWEEP program and increase awareness by providing them with closer, more convenient drop-off locations, even if it was for just one day.”

The one-day collection, in Kronau and nearby Emerald Park, netted more than four truckloads of hard-to-dispose-of material, including televisions, speakers, fax machines, computer accessories and about 200 cans of paint.

“The event confirmed for me that the best way for Vale to increase its reputation and status within Southern Saskatchewan is to start at the community level,” said Ash. “Being active participants in the community helps build trust and relationships that are invaluable.”

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