• John Jantak

Mount Pleasant School launches second annual e-waste collection drive


PHOTO COURTESY JULIE PEPIN

A large pile of electronic waste that was amassed by the Mount Pleasant Green Team during the school’s first e-waste fund-raising drive to recycle and refurbish used small electronic devices last year.

Mount Pleasant Elementary in Hudson wants your old small electronic items. The school just launched its second annual electronic waste (e-waste) drive that begins January 23 and runs until February 3.

The event has a threefold purpose. “We’re recycling old electronics because we don’t want them to end up in the garbage because they’re toxic waste,” said parent volunteer Julie Pepin who is also part of the Mount Pleasant Green Team.

Helping charities

“We’re also helping charities. The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) takes the donated electronics that can be refurbished, repairs them and donates them to charities and non-profit organizations or sells them at a very low price,” said Pepin.

“The third purpose of the event is that it’s a fundraiser. If we reach a minimum of eligible items collected, we then start to get some money back for our efforts,” Pepin added. The funds raised last year allowed Mount Pleasant School to buy a set of binoculars enabling students to learn about and enjoy the richness of their surrounding natural environment.

Students enthusiastic

Pepin said the students were enthusiastic about participating in last year’s event. “They were very excited about it. They learned about the reality of e-waste which they weren’t necessarily aware of before. They were happy to participate and learn about the fact small electronics need to be disposed of properly. They can’t go in the garbage. They have to be recycled,” said Pepin.

The Mount Pleasant Green Team is comprised of about seven volunteer parents, 40 students and three teachers. They are dedicated to connecting kids with nature, fostering stewardship, increasing awareness of environmental issues, supporting the school in reducing its environmental footprint and making a positive impact for the planet and the community.

Community aspect

There’s a community aspect to it too because it keeps people aware of what’s going on at the school, said Pepin. “This is like a service – the school gives back to the community by collecting these electronics at this time of the year. This is something the community can benefit from and it also benefits the school.”

Even though the school collected 850 pounds of electronic waste last year, a lot of the items were too old to be refurbished. The ERA properly disposes of items that cannot be salvaged in an environmentally friendly way. Funds raised by the Green Team help to support the group’s activities and contribute to purchasing equipment and materials that benefit the whole school.

Electronic items accepted

All types of consumer electronics including gaming consoles, iPods and mp3 players; desktop computers and laptops; handheld devices such as smart phones and tablets; printers; copiers; scanners and fax machines are accepted. Any personal data that may still be stored on personal devices will be destroyed using the ERA’s 100 per cent secure data destruction protocols.

People are encouraged to bring their used electronics to the drop off site at the IGA at 484 Main Road in Hudson. The ERA is a non-profit organization that has been reducing unnecessary electronic waste in seven major cities across Canada including Montreal since 2004.

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