With sustainability at the forefront of Southwire’s strategic growth and community involvement, the company is continuing to find new ways to give back to the community while Growing Green. The latest is the introduction of new electronics recycling (e-recycling) programs in Florence, Ala., and Bremen, Ind., that engage employees and their communities to become more powerful environmental stewards, while creating more sustainable communities.
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, could potentially 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 success and Southwire’s continued commitment, the company hosted their first e-recycling events in Florence on Oct. 19, and Bremen on Oct. 26.
“One of our Giving Back sustainability goals is to enable and engage our workforce in building more sustainable communities,” said Paul Sims, Senior Director of remediation and public affairs. “This e-recycling outreach program allows us to reduce the amount of electronics that are improperly disposed of, provides a platform to teach our employees about Growing Green and allows Southwire to give back to our communities by educating and helping them properly manage electronic waste.”
Each facility partnered with an environmental organization in their community – Florence with Keep Shoals Beautiful and Bremen with Marshall County Recycle Depot. Despite it being the first time either location has hosted an e-recycling collection event, both were able to fill a box truck with e-waste.
“Many people in the community don’t realize that electronics can be recycled,” said Amanda Berry, Florence’s Giving Back Coordinator. “By doing this project, we are bringing awareness to the need and helping people understand that these items don’t have to be disposed of in landfills. Many participants even asked if we were planning to host e-recycling again.”
This expansion is a step in toward achieving Southwire’s 2021 Giving Back sustainability target to launch environmental outreach programs in 100% of the communities in which we operate.
“I loved watching the collection boxes filling up, even overflowing, with electronic items that may have otherwise just ended up in someone’s trash can at home,” said Jodie Overmyer, Bremen’s Giving Back Coordinator. “E-recycling helps ensure that we are giving our community opportunities to Grow Green with us, and we are making the process as simple as possible for them. It also helps us show the community that together we can make an impact on sustaining our environment for our future generations.
For more information about Southwire’s community involvement follow Southwire Community on Facebook or visit the southwireblog.com.