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Sustainability in the Sun: The Second Annual Recycle IT Games


Recycle IT LogoOn October 1, ITServices and the Sustainability Office teamed up once more to hold the Second Annual Recycle IT Games. The event was organized as part of "Sustainability Week - 5 Days 5 Ways," with the goal of raising awareness of e-waste recycling initiatives around campus.


The inaugural event was held earlier in March 2013, but the date for Sustainability Week was changed to early fall for various reasons. By timing the event around the start of the school year, there would be more interest from students, and hopefully, nicer weather.


Indeed, the weather turned out to be perfect. Members of the community who stopped by the event agreed that it was a great opportunity to learn more about e-waste while enjoying some time outdoors. Students were particularly thrilled at the chance to vent their pre-midterm anxiety by throwing broken computers and devices in games like the Laptop Toss and Cellphone Accuracy Throw.


Members of the AMS joined in the fun and kindly provided a tent for some much-appreciated shade. Colin Robinson, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainability, described the event as "phenomenal."


"It's a great way for students to blow some stress, throw a laptop, and know that they are disposing of it responsibly. The tangible deliverables from events like this are the showcasing of all this effort to the student body, and the cohesion forming between all the different organizations who are actually participating in sustainability on campus."


As an added bonus, the Games allowed participants to earn chances to enter a draw for prizes sponsored by the Campus Computer Store. The store serves as an e-waste drop-off site all year round, but during Sustainability Week, prize ballots were given out for any items that were brought in for recycling. The draw will be held on Friday, October 11 at 3 p.m.


ITServices contributed a significant amount of decommissioned hardware, and staff members helped to collect items from other organizations around campus. Staff volunteers were also on hand to remove hard drives, so that they could be securely wiped, or degaussed. Hard drive destruction and disposal is another free service that the Computer Store provides year-round to members of the Queen’s community.


Bo Wandschneider, CIO and AVP of ITServices, highlighted the importance of everyday initiatives such as these.


"When it comes to sustainability, we all have a responsibility to be an agent of change. ITServices has a specific responsibility to drive change throughout the technology life cycle, including disposal. Not only was this event able to help our sustainability efforts, it also helped raise awareness around secure hard drive destruction and disposal."


In total, 2,960 kilograms of e-waste was collected from the event and ultimately diverted from landfills. The carbon equivalent, 4 CO2 tonnes, is equal to:

  • taking one average car off the road for a year
  • covering the CO2 emissions for electricity in a home for six months
  • covering the CO2 emissions of 167 propane BBQ cylinders

Although the figures were slightly lower this time, there is an upside. Less e-waste overall could be a result of having collected so much from the previous event. It could also mean that ongoing efforts to find new uses for old equipment are working.


Read more: "Out with the old…" (Kingston Whig-Standard)


ITServices van delivers hardware

ITServices staff unloading decommissioned hardware


Students attempting a simultaneous laptop toss

Students attempting a simultaneous laptop toss


Cellphone Accuracy Throw

The Cellphone Accuracy Throw


Brad Hannah with server rack Hard Drive Removal

Left: Servers headed for the bin.  Right: The hard drive removal station.


The Recycle IT Crew

Volunteers with Bo Wandschneider (ITServices) and Llynwen Osborne (Sustainability Office)

Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6 613.533.2000