What to do with that old cellular phone after it has been upgraded to that shiny newer model is often not the first thing on many people’s minds. Even when it is, the answer is not immediately forthcoming to many, but a senior class at Newton South High School, called Sustaining Global Communities, is hoping to change all that by spreading the word about electronic and cell phone recycling schemes.
“Nowadays, as we are (more and more) electronic based, phones and computers are increasing amounts of electronic waste,” notes Andrew Thompson, a teacher at Newton South High School. “It can become really harmful for the environment, particularly in poorer communities.”
Much e-waste, as electronic waste has become known as, is shipped overseas to countries such as India, where it is “recycled” in ways that are very dangerous to the environment and even people’s health. “It’s much cheaper to send it abroad,” Thompson notes sagely. What’s worse, even when there are environmentally friendly and local ways to recycle old cell phones and such safely, many people simply do not know about them, so the class has been finding ways to spread the word and have brainstormed several ways to go about it, including launching an e-waste collection drive and public service announcements both in school and in the local media. “We care about this,” Thompson says. “It’s obviously a big global issue and I encourage them (the students) o reach out to different people.”