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MSU Sustainability

Aaron Jaeger and George Withus loading a pallet.

MSU and Apple’s effort to recycle e-waste was a great success
August 6, 2009

Twenty-nine pallets, or roughly 25,000 pounds, of unusable, university-owned electronic and computer equipment were loaded on Apple’s truck Aug. 6. The e-waste consisted of campus computers and electronic equipment deemed scrap and beyond repair by Information Technology Central. For the campus, this was an opportunity to be eco-friendly while cleaning house and disposing of scrap items at no cost to Minot State.

Aaron Jaeger, a Washburn native, works as a student technician in ITC. The junior, who is majoring in graphic design, describes the endeavor:

Recycling recap It is common to recycle papers and plastics, but what do you do with more than 25,000 pounds of outdated and unused electronics? The Apple Corporation has come up with an answer to this question in the form of a one-time, free-of-charge, mass "e-waste" recycling program, which can only be utilized by educational institutions. Minot State University decided to use the opportunity as a way to reduce the amount of "dead technology" floating around campus and sitting in storage.

The ITC notified the campus departments about what was taking place, how they could participate and when this would occur. We began to stockpile the e-waste in the ITC in preparation for removal. When there was enough material to load pallets, ITC staff, as well as, student workers from both the ITC and computer science department would layer and shrink wrap them according to specifications set by Apple. The pallets were then removed and stored by plant services until they were to be picked up for recycling.

Although we only received a few items from each department, the pallets soon began stacking up. However, it wasn’t until the Apple truck rolled up that we saw the true impact of our labor. While we originally thought we may have enough e-waste to fill up 10 pallets, it was staggering to see the 29 we finished with. If a small group of people can fill an entire semitrailer with materials to be recycled, imagine the impact our campus could have if we all took the time to do our part.