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Throwing away old gizmos? Read this

/ 10:27 PM December 25, 2013

‘Tis the season when gifts like brand new electronic gadgets pile up under the Christmas tree, while old gizmos are usually consigned to the trash bin.

But before you finally part with the latter, think again.

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A group of engineering students from the University of the Philippines (UP) is urging the public to donate used gadgets, appliances, computer parts, cables, batteries and ink cartridges to its E-Waste Project, an environmental awareness and fund-raising drive launched in August 2012.

“The project aims to encourage the recycling and proper disposal of these hazardous and poisonous materials known as electronic or E-Waste,” said Martha Isabel Dealino, one of the project leaders.

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The collected materials are sold to Envirocycle Inc., a waste management company based in Sta. Rosa, Laguna province. Proceeds from last year’s collection were used to procure and set up 11 new workstations at the computer room of Sta. Lucia High School in Novaliches, Quezon City.

The 2013 campaign, which formally ended on Dec. 9 after a week-long collection drive in UP Manila, has chosen Caloocan City High School as its beneficiary. The target is to buy at least 10 new computers for the school.

The E-Waste Project is a brainchild of UP Circuit, a university-recognized group of electrical and electronics engineering students.

“We wondered what happens to all the old gadgets with today’s technology boom. We did our research and found out that e-waste is already a big issue in other countries, such as the members of European Union,” Dealino told the Inquirer. “Our brothers and sisters in developing countries that end up as dumping grounds for e-waste are gravely affected because of government neglect and the people’s apathy toward the problem.”

The UP Circuit launched the campaign against the improper disposal of e-waste not only to let people know about their responsibility but also to inform them about their options when old or obsolete gadgets start piling up at home or in the office.

This year, it partnered with the De La Salle University’s Electronics and Communications Engineering Society, UP Manila Medicine Student Council, Mapua Integrated Computer Organization, Philippine Normal University Unesco Club, and St. Scholastica’s College Manila.

Drop-off points for e-wastes were set up in these participating universities in August.

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Dealino said UP Circuit hoped to expand the project in 2014 by taking it to the barangays with the help of new partners.

Organizers of the E-Waste Project can be reached at 0922-8624513. You can also check the project’s website www.upcircuit.org/TheEwasteProject to learn more about it.

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TAGS: Electronics, environment, gadgets, Metro, recycling
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