Local Electronics Recyling Facility Works to Reduce Large and Hazardous Materials from Landfills

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska In Fairbanks, Recycling Facilities are becoming more recognized as waste in landfills continue to keep up with the growing population. Hobbyists and volunteers are working together in Fairbanks to eliminate specific items and repurpose them back to the community.

Tait Chandler, Executive Director for Green Star of Interior Alaska said,
"So green star is a 501 c-3, non-profit, our mission is to encourage and enable Fairbanks to reduce waste and increase recycling."

Most electronics are made up of hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, palladium, and other various heavy metals. Dan bates says when electronics are disposed of properly the longevity of the borough landfill increases, while the risk of toxic and harmful matter decreases.

Dan Bates, Warehouse Manager for Green Star of Interior Alaska said,
"We're kind of keeping the environment clean, and we're also keeping the landfill clean.”

Computers, batteries, keyboards, televisions and microwaves are just a few of the many items that can be dropped off at the central recycling facility and brought to Green Star.
Volunteers and workers break down the hazardous elements of the products and separate them into specific areas where they can then be transferred or repurposed.
Levi Jenkins works as the Assistant Warehouse Manager for Green Star of Interior Alaska.

"So this is our reuse and re-sale area. We find things throughout the totes you saw earlier that we receive and we pull it out. If it looks like it's reusable we bring it back here we test it, it works, we can either donate it to another non-profit or we can sell it in order to generate income to take care of all these electronics in the first place," said Jenkins.

Green Star is made up primarily of volunteers and training is provided on-site.
Art Gelvin volunteers in his free time. He says it’s his way of giving back to the community.
Art Gelvin is a volunteer at Green Star.

"To me it's just something to do. It's a community effort too, they really started getting the word out 10-15 years ago, when they started out one weekend a year, getting electronics and then they moved forward to one month a year, and CRF is up and running now and they take electronics 5 days a week. So Green Star kind of to me is spearheading what’s getting Fairbanks interested in recycling, electronics is the biggest one, it probably has the most value out of it if you break it down to the basic components," said Gelvin.

Chandler says some volunteers have found other ways to reuse some of the materials dropped off at the facility, and others come to enjoy some of the nostalgia that comes with breaking down obsolete electronics. Most all come with a common goal, and that's to help the community, by helping the environment.
Electronics can brought to the Central Recycling Facility Tuesday through Friday from 12 to 5:30 p.m.
For more information about volunteering you can visit Http://Iagreenstar.Org/Volunteer/