Introduction: How to Run an E-waste Drive (at Your School)

This is a great way to give back to your community and help reduce our impact on the environment. E-waste is becoming a huge problem and proper recycling (and helping others recycle properly) is a simple way to help combat the problems created by the waste.

Step 1: Identify Recycling Locations That Accept Large Donations.

Find a location near you that is a certified e-waste recycler.

Find out what types of electronic waste they accept. Examples include: tablets, smart phones, computers, hard drives, televisions, and printers. You may also want to collect light bulbs or batteries which might not be accepted by the same recycler. Commonly hardware stores, like Home Depot, will recycle light bulbs and batteries.

This site was helpful in finding local recyclers in North America.

Step 2: Secure a Location and Date to Host Your E-drive.

Many schools will be open to hosting a drive in their parking lots. Find a teacher who is willing to support your effort. Write a letter to the principal asking for permission to use the parking lot for the drive and find a time and date that will work for everyone. Explain why you are having the drive and what the benefits to the Earth are. Be sure to tell the principal that you will be responsible for setting up the drive and removing the waste.

Here is a website with facts about why people should recycle.

Step 3: Build a Team That Will Help You!

The number of people you need will depend on how much you advertise. You will need a driver and at least one van or truck. Be prepared to do a little bit of heavy lifting.

Step 4: Promote Your Drive.

Make flyers, posters, banners and emails advertising your event. Include time, date, and materials you are collecting. (Make sure to include the materials you cannot accept.)

Posters and banners should be hung three weeks prior to event. Flyer should be handed out two weeks before the event. Email reminders and social media posts should be sent throughout the final week leading up to the event.

Step 5: The Day of the Drive.

Hang signs and use cones to direct cars where to pull up and drop off items. Make sure to have a list of what you can accept on hand.

Take photos of the event for any future promotions.

Deliver the e-waste to your certified recycler.