Point of View
If you are like most people, you have an old computer stuffed away in the back of your closet or an obsolete TV gathering dust in the corner of your garage. In many parts of the country, electronics recycling centers are few and far between and community-recycling drives are only offered once in a blue moon, if at all.
A staggering 400 million units of electronic waste are scrapped in the United States each year (International Association of Electronics Recyclers), and this trend is likely to continue, as there are always more gadgets to be had. Add to this the fact that electronics tend to become obsolete rather quickly, and you can see we have a growing e-waste problem.
“The electronics waste stream is growing at five times the rate of any other waste stream,” said Matthew Coz, VP of Growth and Commodity Sales for Waste Management Recycle America. “The product life cycles are shrinking. We are constantly creating more of that waste.”
Our relationship to energy is rapidly changing. What had once seemed like endless supplies of fossil fuels are now obviously finite and with an ever-increasing cost. The most innovative approaches to solving environmental or economic problems involve recognizing potential treasure out of what would otherwise be waste. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is taking control of their energy future by utilizing both alternative energy and energy efficiency.
UNH will soon be the first university to tap landfill gas, generating both electricity and heat for their 5 million square foot campus. Landfill gas will be piped 12.7 miles from Waste Management’s Turnkey Recycling and Environmental Enterprise facility in Rochester, New Hampshire for this project named EcoLine. This project was made possible by the unlikely partnership between the university and the local landfill.