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Electronic Waste (E-waste) Recycling by Green Minds

12 January 2018

The student-led club Green Minds has established e-waste collection bins around all BIS HCMC campuses from which collected electronics will be recycled.

  • Reuse, Reduce, Recycle
  • Reuse Reduce Recycle Boxes

Green Minds has set themselves the task of transforming electronic disposal in our community by providing the option of recycling. Items collected from the collection bins will have a dual-purpose. They will either be given to the NGO ‘Vietnam Recycles’, which specializes in electronic recycling or wherever possible our Design and Technology department will utilise these unwanted products in the brand new makerspace. It’s time to fix the e-waste problem - bring your old electronics to the collection bins now!

The Problem

In this day and age, we are all dependent on electronics. First thing in the morning, you probably look at your phone. Your work is probably reliant on computers, projectors, laptops and the like. Your house is filled with it, be it batteries, laptops, phones, cables, TVs, printers, scanners and more. But what happens to all these electronics when they get old or broken?

Truth is, the vast majority (in fact, 85 percent!) is dumped into landfills or burned, releasing numerous toxic gases and chemicals which can cause a range of serious health issues. As more and more people can afford electronic devices and the rate at which technological development increases, the negative environmental effects are also on the rise. That is, unless we change the way electronic consumption and disposal occurs.

E-waste has more deadly consequences on our health and the environment than plastic bags because it contains mercury, cadmium, lead, beryllium, chromium, Brominated Flame Retardants and arsenic. These chemicals leach into the groundwater and ecosystems. Mercury, found in older computers and batteries, can cause kidney and brain damage. Beryllium, used to make connectors and motherboards, is considered a human carcinogen. Lead, contained in CRT monitors, can cause irreversible neurological disorders, especially in children.

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

The key to fixing the e-waste problem is the golden rule of 3 R’s, ‘Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.’  We need to reuse electronics as much as possible and fix them when they are broken instead of immediately discarding them. We need to reduce our consumption of electronics: for example, not getting a new phone every time a new model is released. We need to recycle as much of our e-waste as possible.

We, Green Minds, want to do just that in our BIS community.

We are doing this through establishing e-waste recycling collection bins. A large array of broken/old electronics can be discarded. First and foremost, some parts of these electronics will be utilised by the Design and Technology team, who will be reusing or making new things out of them in the makerspace.

The donated items will allow students to disassemble them in order to understand them further. In particular, they will be looking closely at the ergonomic/anthropometric considerations of the products. They will look at information regarding where the materials come from, the sustainability of those materials, the environmental impact and the manufacturing implications. Any scraps from this project will then be recycled by ‘Vietnam Recycles’.

What can you recycle in our bins?

Due to the limited size of the collection bins, we are looking to collect handheld devices such as:

  • Electronic batteries
  • Mobile Phones, Tablets
  • Cameras and camcorders
  • Pedometers
  • Computer mice & keyboard
  • Torches
  • Electronic cables
  • Calculators
  • Digital watches
  • Audio devices
  • DVD, VD, CD players and other type of disk players
  • Toy Racing Cars

*Note: for batteries/cables, we only collect electronic ones.

If you have any large electronic devices such as the following, we can also arrange to dispose of them responsibly. If you wish to do so, please email Mr Roman at pedro.roman@bisvietnam.com.

  • Computers, CPU
  • CRT/LCD Monitors
  • Printers, fax machines, scanners
  • Photocopiers
  • Servers
  • Televisions – LCD/CRT
  • Others e.g. IT-related accessories

If you have any of these electronic devices now or in the future that you wish to discard because they are broken/old, please bring them to the collection box to be recycled.

Location of boxes
  • Early Years and Infant Campus: Parents Hall at EY&IC
  • Junior Campus: Outside the canteen
  • Secondary Campus: Undercroft between the stairs and the lifts

We will then give the waste collected to Vietnam Recycles, which is an organization that recycles used or defective electronic equipment responsibly. Learn more about Vietnam Recycles and their projects here: http://www.vietnamrecycles.com/.

House Competition

To get people truly enthusiastic about e-waste recycling we have also introduced a house competition which will take place later this term at the Secondary Campus. When delivering your e-waste to the collection bin, there will be house stickers and all you need to do is place the sticker of your house on your object. Larger electronics will have more points and at the end of 2 months we will see which house is the champion recycler!

The time for irresponsible e-waste disposal is up! Join our efforts now!

Victoria Fethke and Annie Joshi, Founders and Leaders of Green Minds

#ReuseReduceRecycle #NAEGlobalCampus #GlobalGoals