Meridian Township Recycling volunteers and local patrons will attempt to set a Guinness World Record in electronic recycling. Leroy Harvey, Head Coordinator of Meridian Township Recycling and Energy and volunteers are asking the community for help on April 22.
“Chippewa Middle School (located at 4000 Okemos Road) is hosting, it is a collaborative effort led by Meridian Township – with lots of collaborative partners,” said Harvey. “Bring your electronics and volunteer, and pray for us, this is a fun feel-good community event.”
The volunteers will provide residents a source to properly dispose of their unwanted goods. There are challenges in finding volunteer support, said Ellen Dillman, volunteer coordinator for the event.
“Getting volunteers is an increasing challenge. I have been doing this for five years and I am fascinated by the demographics,” said Dillman. “We rely heavily on high school students who have volunteerism as part of their goals in high school or requirement, as well as community members.”
“Challenges are constant for an event of this magnitude, we are 33 of 71 filled spots; we need help,” said Dillman.
Despite planning and volunteering challenges the event will shine positive attention on electronics recycling.
“Electronic recycling has skyrocketed in two ways, both people wanting to get rid of electronics in a sustainable way and the cost for collecting for recycling those items in a responsible way,” said Dillman. “In our county the costs of recycling electronics have gone way up to around $10 or $20 per item for recycling small electronic items.”
The event also provides awareness to the environment.
“It’s educational; it helps keep valuable material out of the landfill and toxics out of the water and air, and money down the drain,” said Harvey.
Recycling also teaches good habits to students in the community.
“For events like these, they help bring community involvement. Word gets out through the neighborhood groups,” said James Ives, Education and Outreach Coordinator of Michigan State Universities Surplus and Recycling Center. “It (recycling) is important to Ingham county recycling and Meridian Townships community.”
Dillman has a message for those attending and wanting to take part in the world record and help volunteer.
“Bring your electronics, metal, and bicycles and come on down,” said Dillman. “It is clear that those people who come treasure it. The reason I know that is because we have a donation bucket. Nobody said will you please donate. Folks voluntary donate and give $20. It is a remarkable thing.”
Dillman said that volunteering efforts will be provided with food and appreciation.
“The money is very impressive that we collect in these types of recycling events,” Dillman said. “Those who come really care. I mean that. I am always astounded of the generosity of the people who come through.”