From March 9 through the 13, Recycling on Campus at Keene State College, known as R.O.C.K.S, and the Eco-Reps hosted a special collection event which gave KSC students, faculty and staff the opportunity to properly dispose of all types of electronic waste.

Often people looking to recycle electronics have to pay a fee of $10 or more, or 25 cents per pound.

However, this event gave the KSC community the chance to recycle their old or broken electronics for free.

R.O.C.K.S handles the recycling on campus and along with Eco-Reps they aim to enhance green living on campus by teaching students how their choices affect the environment, according to their websites.

This event, which they called E-Waste Collection, was held in the student center and accepted “anything that has a cord or that goes into something with a cord,” such as  televisions, computers, cell phones, radios, DVDs and more, according to their Facebook page.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association, Americans now own approximately 24 electronic products per household.

Currently, about 95 percent of these discarded electronics are headed for disposal, not recycling, according to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

Also according to the website, not recycling these items is terrible for the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency website added, “Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials.”

The EPA continues to say, “Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than thirty-five hundred U.S. homes in a year.”

Heather Greenwood, the recycling coordinator for KSC, said R.O.C.K.S and Eco-Reps do e-waste collections once a year, and this is their third year hosting the event.

Greenwood said they usually hold the event in February or after spring break, but this year since it was held the week before spring break she said it affected the outcome of the event.

In the past two years the e-waste collection table had collected around 8,000 pounds of electronic waste, but this year they only collected 3,700 pounds.

“I think the first two years it was a lot of faculty and staff cleaning out their basements,” she said.

Colton MCCracken / Equinox Staff

Colton MCCracken / Equinox Staff

However, this year she said she saw a lot more students recycling their old electronics, such as cellphones and phone chargers, compared to past years.

KSC Senior Cameron Peirce is involved with R.O.C.K.S and Eco-Reps at KSC.

Peirce explained that the groups set up a table in the student center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to collect electronic waste from anyone that wanted to recycle it.

He said that all of the waste they collected was recycled at a company in Jaffrey, New Hampshire called E-Waste Recyclers, rather than it being sent to a landfill.

Peirce said their goal of this week-long collection was to beat the weight of the waste collected last year, which was 8,000 pounds, but unfortunately they did not reach this goal.

“It’s extremely important [to recycle] because a lot of these [electronics] can have certain toxic chemicals in them which when going through a landfill will leak into our water systems and the ground,” he explained.

He continued, “It’s really not good. Also there are precious metals in here that can be recycled so less has to be mined in the future.”

He said people brought their cell phones, printers, laptops and old charges to recycle during the event.

Peirce advised the KSC community to bring “basically anything that doesn’t have coolant, so no refrigerators, but microwaves, toasters, TVs, cell phones; anything that’s electronic pretty much.”

Greenwood explained since the culture has changed to everything being more disposable, it is important to remember to recycle.

“People aren’t used to the idea of ‘Okay what am I going to do with this now?’ after only a few years because people used to keep and have electronics, like TVs, for much longer and now they’re going through things more quickly,” she said.

She said it is also important to remember the materials that go into making these electronics are still valuable and can be reused.

Taylor Asher, the president of Campus Ecology, said unlike Pierce, who was at the table during the week, she didn’t recycle this week. However, she said she has recycled plenty in the past and believes this event was very important to hold at a college campus.

Campus Ecology is a group at KSC that aims to establish environmentally sound practices on campus by promoting leadership, awareness and action, according to the group’s website.

Asher said she’s taken old cell phones and chargers and even old laptops to be recycled multiple times, so she had nothing she needed to recycle during the time of the event. Asher said she believes it is very important to recycle electronics.

She said, “Sometimes people forget that things like laptops and cellphones can be recycled, but all those things are made from resources that come out of the planet.”

She said these are resources that are very limited, especially for the number of people that use them.

When it comes to the KSC campus “going green,” Asher said she thinks they do a pretty good job.

She said she sees that R.O.C.K.S and Eco-Reps do what they can, but as far as plastic water bottles go, she is not impressed.

“We do a good job with recycling, but I think what needs to happen before recycling is education about how bad the water bottles are,” Asher said.

One project Asher said Campus Ecology is doing is going around to all the dorms and collecting all the recycled water bottles.

In one weekend she said the group filled over 12 trash bags of recycled water bottles, which wasn’t counting all the plastic bottles used by students that were not recycled.

She said for Solar Fest, an event Campus Ecology will hold in the spring, “We are packing them all up and showing the kids how many water bottles they use.”

Asher said she hopes this will show students that it’s good to recycle, but even better if we can avoid the issue from the start by not using plastic water bottles.

She added, however, that KSC has a contract with Pepsi so there is no way plastic water bottles will stop being sold at Hoot and Scoot and other places on campus.

Another way Asher said she tries to encourage people to recycle is by making games for her residents in Pondside 3. She explained the games and challenges she comes up with have a point system and whenever her residents do different things they get different points.

For example, when she does room checks before breaks, if residents have their wires unplugged and are saving energy, they get a point. If she catches her residents recycling they also get points. Greenwood said a lot of recycling events are held each semester as a combined effort between R.O.C.K.S and Eco-Reps.

“We’ve done Recycle Mania, pledges, office cleanup competitions and other programing with games,” Greenwood said.

She said it is always important for students recycle, which is something she believes is especially important when it comes to students moving out of their housing.

Greenwood said students who live on campus who are moving out need to remember to recycle their items.

Bethany Ricciardi contributed to this story.

Taylor Thomas can be contacted at

Bethany Ricciardi can be contacted at

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