PHOENIX (Dec. 4, 2014) – Arizona Department of Environmental Quality officials announced today that free toolkits for conducting free electronic waste (e-waste) recycling events in Arizona municipalities in the border region are now available.
A total of $115,150 is being utilized from a collaboration of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Border 2020 Program, the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission (BECC) and ADEQ to produce educational materials and conduct nine free e-waste recycling events in the southern Arizona communities. As part of the grant, ADEQ entered into a technical assistance agreement with BECC.
The recycling events will be held in Nogales, San Luis, Somerton, Wellton, Sahuarita, Patagonia, Douglas, Sierra Vista and Bisbee beginning early next year through the end of August 2015. ADEQ has retained a certified recycler that adheres to best practices to safely manage e-waste and protect public health and the environment.
The goal of the grant is to recycle, rather than send to a landfill, 100,000 pounds of e-waste in the border region and to have each of the communities develop capacity to hold annual e-waste recycling events.
“ADEQ has had a very successful free electronic waste recycling program focusing on central and northern Arizona the past five years,” ADEQ Director Henry Darwin said. “We are excited now to be offering these free opportunities to border region residents. This is a great opportunity for people to dispose of all the unwanted electronics they have collected over the years while at the same time ensuring that this potentially toxic stream of waste is disposed of responsibly and doesn’t take up valuable landfill space.”
ADEQ and the non-profit group Keep Arizona Beautiful will be conducting workshops in how to conduct the e-waste events during December throughout southern Arizona.
The toolkit, available in both English and Spanish, contains templates of media releases and flyers, options for selecting e-waste recycling companies, a how-to guide in conducting an e-waste event, educational materials, and volunteer sign-off forms. The toolkit will also be available in Spanish to facilitate these events in the border, ultimately benefitting the broadest communities.
“Every year, households in the U.S. discard more than two million tons of obsolete electronic products such as computers, cell phones and televisions,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The goal of this toolkit is to educate communities on proper electronic recycling and prevent valuable materials from being thrown away.”
Border 2020 is a bi-national collaborative effort with a mission to protect human health and the environment along the U.S.–Mexico border. For more information on the Border 2020 Program, please visitwww.epa.gov/border2020.