Cascadia Tech students rake in electronics to be recycled

Those vehicles were loaded with computers, monitors, mouses, keyboards, tablets, iPods, phones, smartphones, printers, circuit boards, speakers, gaming consoles and everything in between. They came from individuals, businesses, churches and more.

“We usually get about 5,000 pounds of stuff each year,” Nelson said. “The waste is one of the hardest parts about our industry, so if we can divert 5,000 pounds every year, we’re grateful to do so.”

On Saturday morning, 18 students were bustling about in a large room filled with old devices. Computers and monitors covered every table. Cables littered the floor. Students were busy testing what worked and what didn’t.

Usable items were organized onto shelves for later use; unusable items were loaded into a van that, once full, would be driven to Earth Friendly Recycling in Vancouver, where items would be properly discarded. Earth Friendly Recycling has sponsored the event for eight years.

“We test everything to see if it works,” Nelson said while walking through the room, intermittently answering students’ questions. “We’re building troubleshooting skills. We’ve trained the students to build stuff, and now we have a lot of things that have issues that are hard to replicate. We work through all that here. It’s a part of the process.”


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