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Colloquium students’ project focuses on electronic waste

Junior criminal justice major Nicole Olson first decided to host the second annual recycling event for electronics on campus, E-Waste Recycling Day, solely because it was a requirement for her university colloquium class.

However, after spending more time learning about ways to help the environment in the mandatory course, Olson is excited to make a difference with the help of students who are willing to participate.

The event, which will be held in the Cohen Center bus loop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday March 23, will consist of Olson and fellow classmates involved in the project providing students both entering and leaving campus with recycling boxes to discard old cell phones and other electronics that will otherwise harm the environment if not discarded properly.

“It’s for the environment,” Olson said. “You don’t want to go to a garbage can and see electronics that can’t be used again, you want to recycle them and hopefully they’ll be used again.”

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According to a paper written by graduate assistant Jessica Elisabeth Mendes and published by the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education at FGCU, electronic waste, also known as e-waste, is comprised of discarded electronics such as cell phones, laptops, keyboards, televisions and printers. This type of waste is classified as hazardous and can contain toxic material such as arsenic, mercury and lead.

Parts from e-waste that can be recycled include glass from televisions and computer monitors, plastics found in most electronics, copper wiring and aluminum.

Olson said that the planning of the event has gone smoothly.

“There’s about seven others in my group,” Olson said. “We all have different jobs. It’s going great so far, and we hope it’s going to be a successful event.”

The Goodwill located at 5100 Street in Fort Myers will be assisting with the event and did so last year. Olson and her team will be tabling on campus on March 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to promote the event.

“We’re not hurting the school,” Olson said. “We’re only making it better.”

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