Aug 03, 2022
Students at The William Davies Middle School in Hamilton Township, NJ, were recently awarded the 2022 Dell E-Waste Award on behalf of their hard work to facilitate a major e-waste recycling campaign. The award not only put them in the national spotlight, but also provided valuable funding to their school’s computer program.
The school participated in the Dell Technologies Erase E-Waste Sweepstakes, which encourages schools to host an e-waste recycling drive for a chance to win $50,000 worth of technology upgrades.
Students on the school’s Wellness Team advised by Mrs. Meghan Hooper-Jackson joined forces with a new E-sports class instructed by Mr. Scott Meile to educate their classmates about the importance of proper e-waste recycling. Students put their video-editing skills to task and created informative video clips, held a school-wide poster contest, and secured excellent prizes to drum up interest and excitement for their recycling initiative within the school’s 1000-student population.
Through their campaign, students throughout the school learned that e-waste can be extremely harmful and cannot be disposed of in a regular trash or recycling can. Rather, they must be recycled the right way.
During a one-week timeframe, the school collected e-waste from students’ homes and throughout the school. The drive brought in gaming systems, laptops, mice and more. They quickly collected enough items to fill an entire truck! The school’s maintenance staff transported the items to the recycling program held at the Atlantic County 4H Fairgrounds.
All Atlantic County residents are welcome to drop off electronic items to the Atlantic County 4H Fairgrounds (3210 Route 50 Mays Landing, NJ) on the third Saturday of every month from 9am – 12pm. For more information, click here.
This collection and recycling initiative at William Davies Middle School brought to light the amount of waste generated not only at school, but at home too -- it was an eye-opening experience for this team of middle schoolers. They realized that many electronics were not broken, but just outdated. The items were functional, but there were no longer operating systems available to install, which meant the items needed to be disposed of. In fact, everyone’s phones, tablets, and other household electronics will be outdated someday too. That adds up to a lot of e waste!
To reduce e waste in schools, Mr. Meile recommends that districts consider buying durable items and learn how to repair broken parts. Next year he hopes to explore the possibility of repairing and repurposing old and worn-out electronics with his students. He wanted students to understand that when you dispose of a gaming system or an iPad, it doesn’t just vanish – this stuff really does wind up somewhere. He tries to teach his students to do the right thing and take care of the Earth. “By recycling electronic waste, our school can help make a bit of a difference in the world.”