A testament to the company’s continued efforts to building a Strong, Sustainable, Southwire, the company’s Heflin plant hosted its first-ever electronics recycling (e-recycling) drive over the weekend. This event marked one of nine total collections the company plans to host across eight different communities in 2019.
On Saturday, May 18, 14 Southwire Project GIFT® volunteers dedicated their Saturday morning to collecting e-waste to be recycled for the first time in the community. The Heflin plant partnered with the Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce to host the event and collected four large boxes of e-waste.
“For the first e-recycling event in Cleburne County, we had a great turn-out,” said Hannah Smith, environmental specialist. “We are proud to build our sustainability program, but more than that, we are excited to bring an opportunity and awareness to electronics recycling in the community.”
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, pose an environmental threat that can contaminate soil and groundwater.
Since 2007, Southwire’s Project GIFT, in partnership with Keep Carroll Beautiful, has collected more than one million pounds of e-waste to be recycled. Based on the program’s decade-long success and Southwire’s continued commitment, the company launched e-recycling in Florence, Ala., and Bremen, Ind., in 2018. This year, Southwire is introducing e-recycling in five new locations, the third of which was the company’s Heflin facility.
“We hope that hosting events like the electronic recycling drive will encourage members of the community to recycle,” said Kristi Smith, Heflin’s HR manager and Giving Back coordinator. “Most of us are more likely to drop off items if it is convenient and we are not having to go out of our way.”
The program’s expansion is a step toward achieving Southwire’s 2021 Giving Back sustainability target to launch environmental outreach programs in 100% of the communities in which we operate.
“This program is also a way to send the message that we care about our community,” said Kristi Smith. “As far as next year, we may pair the electronic recycling drive with our annual back to school event to increase awareness.”
Still to come in 2019, Southwire’s Huntersville, N.C., and Starkville, Miss., facilities will host their first-ever e-recycling collections, and the company’s Bremen, Ind., and Florence, Ala. will continue the tradition they began last year by hosting their second events. West Georgia will also host a second e-recycling collection in the fall.