Sachin’s Community Recycling Campaign focuses on building recycling awareness in the community, providing an alternative to other costly computer recycling programs as well as a service to make recycling easier. Many recycling programs charge a fee to collect your reusable trash. Because of this, many people do not participate in these programs. Sachin has built volunteer teams in local housing subdivisions and started a door to door recycling campaign to encourage whole household involvement in the recycling program and refurbishing of unused computers. Sachin’s teams will work with subdivision management to encourage participation in the recycling program. The teams provide a trash separator to each household for newspaper and electronic items, and have regularly scheduled pick-up days. When collected computers and other electronics are salvageable, Sachin and his team refurbish them and donate them to local charities. Electronics that are no longer usable are delivered to an electronics drop-off center for proper recycling and disposal. Sachin has plans to expand his Community Recycling Campaign model to other neighborhoods, towns and cities. To date, the Community Recycling Campaign has refurbished and donated dozens of computers, monitors and other electronics and diverted thousands of pounds of electronic waste from landfills to recycling centers. In addition, Sachin and his team have held clothing recycling events, adopted a school in India (where they have a Community Recycling Team as well) and partnered with other local and national charities on various fundraising efforts. To learn more about the Community Recycling Campaign, visit: http://www.crcfbt.org/.
Sachin’s Inspiration: In his own words
Recently, I’ve noticed unused computers are being thrown away for garbage collection instead of sending them for recycling program in many subdivisions. This project came to my mind when I saw a computer at one of our neighbored resident garbage collection points. I noticed the same in other neighboring subdivisions a couple of months back. Even at our house we have two unused monitors and one computer. I asked the garbage collection people about what happens after garbage collection. I was told that all electronics, including computers, are land-filled. I researched this topic and found many more intriguing facts about it. I found that many companies that offer recycling options aren’t free. At the community level electronics recycling is still a relatively new thing in many cities. Government plays a key role in the electronics recycling industry by establishing policies and overseeing the activities involved in the recycling process. Unfortunately, only a handful of state and municipal governments are experimenting with ways to keep computers out of the waste stream.
I have also noticed that in some of our friend’s houses, shops, and streets people trash newspapers, instead of keeping them in a trash separator for recycling. About 10 million tons of newsprint is thrown away in the USA each year. 10 million tons, that’s hard to visualize. Recycling newspaper can save 34-60% of the total energy needed for virgin newsprint. Recycling just one newspaper saves 600 kHz of energy, 71 gallons of oil, 7000 gallons of water and 15 trees (EPA).
One way to prevent waste and utilize unused items for proper use is by building awareness in the community and try to make use of them (with refurbishing) until those items are no longer for use. Many computers are built in a way that allows them to be repaired or upgraded, which means they can be reused. With little effort, these computers can be as good as the PCs currently on the market. Color cathode ray tubes (CRTs) found in computer monitors fail the hazardous waste characteristic for lead (contain levels of lead that constitute a hazardous waste) and may pose a human health hazard if improperly managed or disposed. Individually, a CRT may contain from 4 to 8 pounds of lead (DEQ). Many of the things we currently throw away could be reused again and again with just a little thought and imagination.
Sachin was also featured in the "In the Spotlight" section of the March 2011 edition of the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update.