BIGG talks E-Waste

Celestia Randolph, Staff Writer

Southern Environmental Solutions of the Carolinas (SESC) is a family owned business dedicated to servicing local landfills established on government contracts. The objective of SESC is to collect recyclable electronic waste, or,  e-waste, promote organizational interactivity.

By setting high standards and collaborating and partnerships, site visits, SESC teaches individuals as well as corporations, schools, churches, and other social organizations the “four r’s”.

The four r’s are re-use, refurbish, recycle and respect which are central to recycling effectively.

Mrs. Lynda Kuehni, Director of Sales and Marketing of the SESC spoke to members of Bulldogs Into Going Green (BIGG) last Monday. She spoke on her organization’s mission to educate Carolinians on the responsible disposal of digital waste.

Kuehni also worked with BIGG to ponder ways for Wingate students to promote the safe distribution electronic devices.

Before diving directly into electronic waste management, Mrs. Kuehni broke the ice by discussing ways they already take initiative to educate others to treat their environment with greater respect and develop new habits of recycling, cutting down on energy usage, and other low-effort, green practices which eventually add up to a significant difference. Everyone managed to speak, and before long there were eco-warrior stories of inspiration ranging from sea turtle sympathies to influencing roommates or teammates.

What makes the SESC so important is that it spares the environment from the devastating effects of chemicals still trapped in damaged or aged electronics.  What the term “e-waste” refers to is anything containing wire, anything which plugs into an outlet, or battery supported items such as TVs, VCR, DVD players, stereos, appliances, copiers, etc.

The metals in these electronics such as aluminum, steel, iron and lead, which harm the environment, can easily be reused. Precious metals, such as copper and gold, can also be drawn from the inside of laptops, cell phones, and even automobile parts.

Currently, the number of cell phones coming into existence exceeds the human population by two million. When those are disposed of, the metals in the chips and intricate wirings inside them will either be collected and reused by facilities such as SESC or will end up releasing chemicals into a dump somewhere corroding precious, expensive metals.

Another factor of digital responsibility is erasing the data stored on these devices. Computers and communication technology have personal data stored on them, which, without proper removal, can be released or obtained by less than savory operations.

The SESC instructs universities, schools and other businesses requiring personal information from students and employees how to protect data stored on sim cards, and offers a way to safely destroy the data before disposing of the device. The hard drive shredding method used by the organization wipes data electronically and is Department of Defence certified.

If items cannot be either salvaged or repaired, it’s still important to recycle it because along with the aforementioned metals, lead and harmful chemicals can seep into the Earth.

The steps students realized they were making may have been impactful, but the students were still eager to learn more bringing them together in a conference with a representative of a local eco-system solutions institution. Now eager to learn more about this opportunity to once again spread green awareness, students were ready to learn more about the organization the speaker who caused them to reflect on their successes represented.

Edited By Andrew Elliott and Rachael Robinson

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