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e-Recycle Flash Mob

Jeanne McEvoy keeps a running tally of the take in the museum parking lot.
Crates overflowing with electronic junk line the museum parking lot Saturday.

Sun Advocate publisher

If Jeanne McEvoy and the rest of the Green Team had any doubts about how the community would support recycling e-junk, those questions were replaced with enthusiasm last Saturday. Scores of people poured into the drop off station near the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum get get rid of their damaged and outmoded electronic devices.

"We had far too much to handle," said McEvoy with a smile in her voice. "We had some huge moments on Saturday where there were people lined up and then there were some slow ones. Thank goodness for the slow ones so we could get caught up."

The event wasn't supposed to start until 9 a.m. But people started showing up early. In fact when the volunteers arrived to set up, right behind the truck that was parked in the lot was a huge old projection television sitting there.

Vignettes of a big drive

"A little while after we started Susan Hyde (a Price City police officer) showed up and talked to me about that television," explained McEvoy. "Susan had apparently been doing her rounds and at about 8:10 a.m. she spotted a woman pushing that thing down the sidewalk toward the recycle area. Susan got out and helped her push it the rest of the way."

Another great story that came out of Saturday were the volunteer efforts put in by the Green Team, plus one. The "plus one" was Carbonville resident and Price businessman Alan Peterson.

Peterson came to drop of a single item just as the event was starting. He looked at the vehicles lined up and what needed to be done to unload them, and he stayed and helped until 3 p.m. that afternoon.

"Alan had planned to go hiking that day, but instead he stayed and helped us," said McEvoy. "We had so much that we couldn't get it all moved by 2 p.m. (a time at which a wedding was to start in the Peace Garden and at which the Green Team had agreed to be done and cleaned up). Alan stayed around and moved all the extra we couldn't get on the truck in back of the museum so that it would be out of the way of the wedding party."

Other stories also emerged. McEvoy said that people came with everything from truckloads of computers and electronics to one lady that brought in a light globe and an extension cord she wanted to get rid of.

"One woman even brought in a bag of used electronic batteries and told us how happy she she was that were were doing this," stated McEvoy. "She said she had been saving them for a long time and didn't know what to do with them."

By the end of the day the campaign had filled 32 large (5x5x5) boxes with electronic gear. Metec, the company that was handling the recycling had only brought one truck and put 10 boxes out thinking it would be enough. They also brought extra boxes, figuring they might need them. The recycling crew did. McEvoy had to contact local recycler Loren Unsworth to borrow two extra boxes to hold the discarded equipment.

"That same day Metec sent two trucks to Logan because they were doing something similar," stated McEvoy. "They only filled four boxes there."

Since there was much more than could be hauled on one truck, some of it needed to be left behind for awhile. Joe Piccolo opened up one of his shops at his business to store it in until the company came back and picked it up on Tuesday.

"The owner of Metec was really surprised," said McEvoy. "He said to me 'How did you get that much stuff out of this small town?' I told him that it was because we have such great volunteers and media partners. Everyone from the newspaper to the radio stations were so helpful and promoted this event. Businesses gave us a lot of help, like promotion and offering coupons for dropping stuff off. Our goals on this were met and it is obvious our community likes doing the right thing."

And most importantly it was done with such enthusiasm.

"People came in all day with smiles on their faces and complimented us on the drive," she said. "The early initial response was so great that by 9:15 we had a truckload."

The total take for the day was well over 20,000 lbs. of recycled electronics, batteries and other devices. Now the obvious question on people's minds is when it will happen again.

"We don't know. We will be meeting in the next few weeks to decide when we will hold another e-recycle day," concluded McEvoy.

Volunteers who staffed the station for the day included McEvoy, Layne Miller, Vicki Kulow, Kris Kiahtipes, Rebecca Mason, Ryan Peterson and the impromptu volunteer, Alan Peterson.

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