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Safeguarding The Environment: Colcom Foundation Sponsors Hard-To-Recycle Collection Campaign

Colcom Foundation is sponsoring the 2023 Hard-to-Recycle Collection Campaign, a crucial initiative by Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC), aimed at addressing pressing environmental hazards associated with certain items, particularly Freon appliances and electronic waste.

The campaign endeavors to promote responsible recycling and safe disposal of these materials, taking into account their potential impact on the environment and human health. E-waste, tires, and small Freon appliances pose significant dangers to the environment and contribute to climate change due to their improper disposal and the release of harmful substances during their lifecycle.

E-waste

E-waste

Electronic waste, or e-waste, refers to discarded electronic devices like computers, smartphones, and televisions. When improperly disposed of, e-waste can release toxic chemicals and heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants, into the environment. These pollutants can leach into soil and water sources, contaminating ecosystems and posing serious health risks to humans and wildlife. Additionally, the improper recycling or burning of e-waste releases harmful greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), contributing to global warming and climate change.

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Tires

The improper disposal of tires is a significant environmental concern. When tires are discarded in landfills or left in the open, they become breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes and can even catch fire, releasing toxic smoke and pollutants into the air. Tire fires emit harmful substances like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), contributing to air pollution and negatively impacting air quality. Moreover, when tires degrade, they release microplastics into the environment, which can contaminate soil and water and pose risks to ecosystems and aquatic life.

Small Freon Appliances

Freon, or chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), refrigerants were once commonly used in small appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, and aerosol propellants. While the production of CFCs has been phased out due to their harmful impact on the ozone layer, improper disposal of small Freon appliances can still release these ozone-depleting substances into the atmosphere. CFCs contribute to ozone depletion, resulting in the thinning of the ozone layer that protects the Earth from harmful UV radiation.

A thinner ozone layer allows more UV radiation to reach the surface, leading to increased skin cancer rates, disrupted ecosystems, and negative impacts on agriculture and aquatic life. Furthermore, CFCs are potent greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change and global warming.

When Freon releases into the atmosphere, it reacts with the ultraviolet rays of the sun, and the molecules of Freon are broken down. Chlorine atoms are then released, which causes a chain reaction that breaks down the ozone molecules that make up the earth’s ozone layer.

Understanding the urgency to address the environmental dangers of such materials listed above, Colcom Foundation has played a crucial role in supporting the 2023 PRC Hard-to-Recycle Collection Campaign.

Hard-to-Recycle Collection Campaign

The hard-to-recycle campaign’s primary focus is to enable individuals to dispose of their hard-to-recycle items in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner.

The campaign ensures that these hazardous materials are processed and recycled appropriately, preventing their harmful impact on the environment. Furthermore, the campaign promotes public awareness about the importance of responsible recycling, encouraging individuals to participate actively in safeguarding the planet.

Recycling Made Easy

One of the focuses of the PRC’s Hard-to-Recycle Collection Campaign is keeping it accessible. The three collection events, held at different locations throughout the summer and fall, allow individuals to conveniently drop off their hard-to-recycle items on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

By charging a nominal $5 participant fee, the campaign covers the cost of recycling for items like cell and home phones, computer equipment, expanded polystyrene packaging, microwave ovens, video game consoles, and DVD players. This fee is waived if an individual pays for the recycling of televisions, computer monitors, printers, fluorescent tubes, small Freon appliances, and tires.

The registration process, facilitated through the PRC website and phone hotline, ensures a smooth and organized collection event, making it easier for participants to contribute to this sustainable cause.

Recycling e-waste ensures that valuable materials can be recovered and reused, reducing the need for new resource extraction and the associated environmental impact.

Proper tire disposal involves recycling or reusing old tires to prevent environmental pollution and fire hazards. Additionally, safely disposing of small Freon appliances involves removing and safely disposing of CFCs to prevent their release into the atmosphere.

Public awareness and participation in collection events, like the Hard-to-Recycle Collection Campaign sponsored by Colcom Foundation, play a crucial role in promoting responsible waste management.

By properly recycling or disposing of these items, communities can reduce their negative impact on the environment and help combat climate change, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable future for our planet.

Colcom Foundation is a philanthropic organization that focuses on supporting various environmental and conservation initiatives. The Foundation is committed to promoting the protection and preservation of natural resources, biodiversity, and sustainable environmental practices.

 

Colcom Foundation recognizes the importance of recycling for the environment and our planet’s sustainability. It serves as a powerful tool to combat the escalating environmental challenges we face today. By diverting waste from landfills, recycling helps reduce pollution and the depletion of natural resources.

Recycling also protects ecosystems, preserving biodiversity and the delicate balance of our natural world. Moreover, it fosters community engagement and empowers individuals to be active participants in environmental conservation.

By promoting recycling and community engagement around this vital effort, Colcom Foundation is serving its mission of fostering an atmosphere of environmentally ethical choices to ensure a healthier, greener, and more prosperous future for generations to come.

The hard-to-recycle events will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Saturday, Aug. 12, at Woodland Hills High School, 2550 Greensburg Pike, Churchill
  • Saturday, Aug. 26, at Next Tier Connect @ Pittsburgh East, 4350 Northern Pike, Monroeville.
  • Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, in the wave pool parking lot at Settlers Cabin Park, 635 Ridge Road, Robinson.

A price list and registration information can be found here. Registration may also be made by calling: 412-488-7490.

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Nilanjana Basu
Nilanjana is a lawyer with a flair for writing. She has a certification in American Laws from Penn Law (Pennsylvania University). Along with this, she has been known to write legal articles that allow the audience to know about American laws and regulations at ease.

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