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MW Girl Scouts work to recycle e-waste

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By Alex Wimsatt

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - When young woman join the Girl Scouts of America they pledge to make the world a better place and use resources wisely. 

As a way to honor that pledge, a group of girls in local Girl Scout Troop 979 have set an ambitious goal to collect 10,000 pounds of electronic waste from area residents in hopes of keeping these often toxic materials out of the environment.

The troop hasn’t quite reached its goal, but the girls are well on their way with almost 4,000 pounds collected for recycling as of early July.  

The Troop has spent weeks going door to door asking folks throughout Mount Washington to participate in the program and in that time the scouts have collected everything from VCRs and televisions to cellular phones, batteries and computers. 

Troop leader Linda Zimmerman said the scout participants decided to undertake the e-waste collection program while discussing possible projects to earn their organization’s coveted Silver Award. 

To be considered for the Silver Award, the girls had to identify an issue they cared about, build a team, explore the community, choose their project, plan their project and set it in motion. 

“The girls had to do something that made a sustainable impact. What’s more sustainable than keeping thousands of pounds of harmful waste out of landfills,” said assistant troop leader, Barbara Parton. 

Zimmerman said the girls were working countless hours on their project, adding that they were learning the importance of giving back to the community. 

Working with Cincinnati-based technology recycling company, 2trg and its Louisville recycling center, Zimmerman said her scouts were also learning about what happens to electronic waste when it’s not recycled. 

Zimmerman said more often than not, Americans simply throw e-waste in the trash without giving it a second thought. In many cases this waste is shipped overseas to developing countries where it’s left exposed, emitting noxious materials into the land, air and water.  

Zimmerman said 2trg guarantees all of the e-waste processed at its facilities is 100 percent recycled, leaving nothing to wind up in landfills, domestic or abroad. 

Troop 979 held a citywide pickup on June 26, but Mount Washington area residents who still have e-waste in need of disposal can call (502) 594-6453 or (502) 418-7881 and someone from the troop will pick it up. 

Any technology waste containing information that is collected and sent to 2trg is guaranteed to be cleared before recycling. 

The deadline for collection is Aug. 1. The service is free. 

To find out more about the impact of technology waste and e-cycling, visit www.ban.org.