Continuing to build a Strong, Sustainable, Southwire, focused on giving back and environmental stewardship, Southwire kicked off the first electronics recycling (e-recycling) events of the year in Douglas and Carrollton, Ga. These two events mark the first of nine total collections the company plans to host across eight different communities in 2019.
Currently, more than 100 million cell phones, 40 million computers and 20 million TVs are improperly disposed of annually in the United States alone. These products contain valuable materials that can be recycled, but they also contain materials that, when improperly disposed of, pose an environmental threat that can contaminate soil and groundwater.
Since 2007, Southwire’s Project GIFT®, in partnership with Keep Carroll Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, has collected more than one million pounds of electronic waste to be recycled. Based on the program’s decade-long success and Southwire’s continued commitment, the company launched e-recycling in Florence, Ala., and Bremen, Ind., in 2018. This year, Southwire is introducing e-recycling in five new locations, the first of which was Douglas, Ga.
“Douglas, like Carrollton, does not have access to year-round electronic recycling so I was eager to see the community involvement and how much electronics they would bring to recycle,” said Hannah Smith, environmental, health and safety specialist. “The event was a great success and I was thrilled to see Southwire employees and community members coming together to be good stewards for Douglas and their environment.”
Douglas Project GIFT volunteers partnered with the Douglas police station and fire station to host their first-ever electronics recycling event on April 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., where 30 cars dropped off e-waste to be recycled.
“It’s important that we get out in the community and letting everyone know that Southwire is always here and cares about the environment,” said Angie Ragsdale, Douglas’s co-giving back coordinator. “We were very excited with the turnout and look forward to an even bigger one next year.”
The next day, west Georgia’s Project GIFT volunteers in partnership with Keep Carroll Beautiful hosted the second e-recycling event of the year. The team collected a semi-truck and a box truck full of recyclable electronic waste.
“We had an amazing group of volunteers from the Red Cross, University of West Georgia and Latino Association, who joined 23 Southwire Blackshirts to serve a constant flow of cars last Saturday,” said Kersha Cartwright, Project GIFT Coordinator. “People look forward to our bi-annual recycling as a way to get rid of old electronics responsibly, and we consider it a privilege to partner with Keep Carroll Beautiful to help provide that opportunity.”
The program’s expansion is a step toward achieving Southwire’s 2021 Giving Back sustainability target to launch environmental outreach programs in 100% of the communities in which we operate.
Still to come in 2019, Southwire’s Huntersville, N.C., Lafayette, Ind., Heflin, Ala., and Starkville, Miss., facilities will host their first-ever e-recycling collections, and the company’s Bremen, Ind., and Florence, Ala. will continue the tradition they began last year by hosting their second events. West Georgia will also host a second e-recycling collection in the fall.