JACKSONVILLE — E-waste is turning into “currency” for Jacksonville College, as students and faculty donate unwanted items to a recycling project that translates into cash and prizes for the school.
According to Ann Cumbee, administrative assistant to college president Mike Smith, the project has been percolating in her mind for a while now, since talking with JC admissions director Sandra Clay about the program's success at a college in Georgia.
“She sent me information, and I've been investigating this for several months,” she said of Funding Factory's recycling program.
Funding Factory has partnered with organizations since 1997 to help reduce e-waste while providing a means for entities to collect cash or prizes through a point system, according to a release from the college.
According to the website www.fundingfactory.com, during this period, more than $35 million in cash and rewards has been disbursed through the program, keeping approximately 31 million pounds of cartridges and small electronics out of landfills.
Items collected for recycling include ink cartridges, cell phones and small electronics; the program also buys renewable tablets and laptops from the groups it works with, the website states.
In Jacksonville, drop-off boxes are located on the college campus at the C.R. Meadows Administration Building, the Jag Bookstore in the Weatherby Building and the Summers and Mary Nell Norman Library.
“Funding Factory gives us boxes and mailing labels, so there's no expense to us” to ship the goods to the company, she explained.
What piqued her interest was hearing about how the college in Georgia – where Clay has a friend familiar with the program – earned enough points to get a Wii for students to use in their student center, Cumbee said.
“I'm hoping we'll get donations from the community, along with other BMA churches here,” she said, describing the recycle program “good in two ways: It keeps e-waste from the dumps and it helps provides a fundraiser for the college. And as long as we're successful, we'll continue doing this because there will always be e-waste.”