Emma Bankard, marketing coordinator at MCG in Oskaloosa, and Drew Van Rees, MCG telecom install tech, carry televisions for recycling at the eCycle event in Grinnell on Saturday, April 29.
By J.O. Parker
Vehicles were lined up four or more deep at times as area residents participated in an eCycle event at the former Bayer (Monsanto) site in Grinnell on Saturday, April 29.
Everything from old televisions to computers, laptops, printers, stereos, CD/DVD/VHS players, telephones and various other electronic devices were collected. The event, the second in Grinnell in recent months, was sponsored by MCG (Mahaska Communication Group), Bayer, Grinnell College and Imagine Grinnell.
Volunteers with MCG, Bayer and others helped unload and package the electronic items on pallets or in large cardboard (gaylord) containers for trucking to Midwest Electronic Recovery (MER) in Walford.
Randy Long, a spokesperson with the company, said a final number of how much was collected at the Grinnell event was not known at press time.
“We hold multiple collection events around Earth Day and once we process everything, we will report the number,” said Long.
The company held a similar eCycle collection event in Oskaloosa the previous week.
MER, which was incorporated in 1999, is under the direction of Long, Ben Kuennen and Caleb Petit. The company also has a location in Clive.
Between the two locations, the company collected between and 7 – 8 million pounds of electronic waste last year.
“It’s keeping all of that weight out of the ground through recycling or reusing,” said Long.
E-waste can be broken down into four main material categories; scrap metal and wire, mixed plastics, printed circuit boards and leaded glass. MER separates e-waste into 29 specific types of materials for more efficient recycling.
“In a nutshell, we are able to accept and process any electronic device or peripheral (keyboard, cables, routers, CD/DVD drives and other accessories),” said Long.
“The e-cycle event is so important because if these old electronics are dumped in landfills and not properly disposed of, this causes those toxic chemicals, like mercury, to leach into the soil, rivers, and can harm so many things (including animals and crop land),” said Emma Bankard, marketing coordinator at MCG in Oskaloosa.
Currently, MCG is involved in eCycle events in Grinnell and Oskaloosa.
‘’We are happy to be engaged in our community,” said Trent Arment, business account specialist with MCG in Grinnell. “If there is anything in our community we can help with, we want to be a part of it.”
“Bayer is happy to partner with MCG, Grinnell College and Imagine Grinnell in making this event possible,” said Matt Moyer, production lead at the Bayer Production site. “We are happy to provide the location for this event and grateful for the planning and execution that our partners put forth to make this happen.”
“I enjoy our e-cycle events because it gives us the opportunity to partner with other environmentally conscious companies in the community,” added Bankard. “We all come together for a really great event.”
For more information on electronic recycling, visit mcbia.com.
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