---- — With Earth Day just around the corner, the Indianapolis Zoo is inviting area residents to do something kind for Mother Earth by participating in Power Recycling Weekend, presented by Ingram Micro, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 26 and 27 in the zoo parking lot.
Electronic waste is a growing problem in the U.S., with millions of tons of e-waste incinerated or placed into landfills each year. By taking those items to the zoo to be recycled, visitors are helping to reduce the amount of harmful chemicals released into the ground, water and air.
Power Recycling Weekend is just one of the zoo’s many green initiatives. The two events held in 2013 collected a combined 47,894 pounds, or nearly 24 tons, of recyclable materials. As a way to say thanks for being a good environmental steward, anyone who brings items for recycling will receive a coupon for $2 off of zoo admission, valid through June 30.
Most electronics — including microwaves, cell phones and computers — will be accepted. However, large appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers and air conditioners will not be accepted. There is a $5 processing fee for TVs and monitors. Otherwise, the service is free. Electronics recycling is provided by RecycleForce.
Shred Monkey will provide document shredding from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days with a limit of three boxes per vehicle. Goodwill of Central Indiana will also be on site helping visitors to de-clutter their closets in an environmentally friendly way by collecting new and gently used clothes, household items, furniture, books, toys and more.
Marking its fifth year as lead sponsor of Power Recycling Weekend, Ingram Micro and its associates are providing volunteer support. Volunteers will be on hand to make vehicle unloading fast and easy.
In 2009 alone, more than 2.5 million tons of electronic waste was disposed of improperly.
Many of these electronic devices contain mercury and lead, which could leach into the ground contaminating soil and water supplies. Cell phones are a major contributor to the problem; however, cell phones are also a prized recyclable item because of the precious metals they contain. A 2006 report by the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that a ton of obsolete cell phones (excluding batteries) contains 140 kilograms of copper, 31.4kg silver, 300g gold, 130g palladium and 3g platinum. However, according to a recent EPA report, only 8 percent of all out-of-use mobile devices in the U.S. had been recycled as of 2009.