We encourage participants to maximize the impact at your local level by organizing an e-waste collection drive in your community or school in conjunction with the International E-Waste Design Competition. This can provide students with the opportunity to create useful products from old electronics and can be a powerful incentive for people to donate. Collected E-Waste should be made available to participants during the creative design process.
WHAT TO COLLECT
Determine in advance specifically what type of E-waste will and will not be accepted at your collection event. The following text is provided as a suggestion only: “Donations of electronic waste will be made available to those entering the competition. E-Waste accepted for donation includes computers and peripherals including CPUs, monitors, keyboards, printers, keyboards, mice, and scanners. Cell telephones are also accepted. E-Waste not used for the competition will be recycled according to guidelines established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
COLLECTION AND STORAGE OF E-WASTE MATERIAL
Pick a location that is central and easy to get to. Another factor is that there might be a lot of traffic backup, so make sure there is enough space so cars can line up. Churches or schools with available temporary storage space are usually a good option. Also make sure you have a truck to move the equipment.
PUBLICITY AND OUTREACH
Start publicity a couple of weeks in advance of the event, increase publicity during the week leading up to the event. In your advertising make it clear what you are accepting or not accepting. Also make it very clear where, what day, and from what hours you will be hosting the event. Let people know what you are doing with the equipment.
The following venues for outreach are suggested:
• Local newspapers, Radio stations.
• Poster placed at local businesses. Electronic version included on appropriate web pages.
• Brochures containing information on hazardous materials found in computers, impact to resources, recycling options, benefits of computer
recycling, and tips for donating computers distributed by event partners and provided for various conferences, meetings, etc. Electronic version placed on appropriate websites.
• E-mail and list serve announcements about the event distributed to appropriate agencies.
• Public informational meetings.
• Public service announcements (PSAs) placed on local radio and TV stations.
• Television coverage discussing the upcoming event, during the actual event, and follow-up report on tonnage, participant numbers, and the future of the competition.
• Make sure that the police and town know about your event so that you can get their advice on traffic control and ask them what kind of a presence they wish to contribute.
• You will need enough volunteers to help you manage the equipment - at least ten volunteers. At the actual event you will need most of your volunteers taking the electronics out of cars so that people can get in and out of the event as quickly as possible. A typical collection event scenario would have about 4 or 5 people taking items from people in cars and about 2 others talking to the people dropping off their equipment. Volunteers’ participation should be acknowledged and thanks extended through personalized letters from event organizers and through newspaper articles, and a letter to the editor sent to local newspapers.
• Provide food. Happy volunteers that are not hungry make for happy events overall.
PREPARING ELECTRONICS FOR DISTRIBUTION TO THE COMPETITION PARTICIPANTS
Be prepared to clean computer hard drives at or immediately following the collection event. Privacy concerns are one of the reasons people are not willing to part with their old computers. If hard drives are to be cleaned this policy should be included with event advertising.
Making a connection with a credible recycling company is the best way to recycle the e waste unused by competition participant. Things to look for in a good recycling company are that they first try to reuse as much equipment as possible before they scrap it. Also make sure they can ensure the absolute safety and protection of information in computers they receive. Certified “e-stewards” are companies that have committed to being responsible according to the “e-steward” criteria, so that could be a good place to start when you need a recycler, but there are also a number of other responsible recyclers not on that list.