Green Team sponsors e-media recycling drive Oct. 1–8
From Oct. 1 through Oct. 8, the Cleveland Heights Green Team (CHGT), in partnership with Heights Libraries, will be collecting all types of compact discs (CDs); video games; DVDs; Blu-ray discs; 3.5” and 5.25” floppy disks; Zip and Jaz disks; and media cases.
Large blue recycling bins for the items will be located inside the lobbies of all four Heights Libraries branches—Coventry Village, Lee Road, Noble Neighborhood, and University Heights.
The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District (CCSWD) recently partnered with GreenDisk, a company that provides secure disposal of intellectual property stored on electronic media and other techno trash.
Because GreenDisk partners with a nationwide network of for-profit and non-profit companies, the formerly almost-impossible-to-recycle materials can be dropped off for eco-friendly processing.
"The materials are ground up and used in the creation of automotive parts, appliance components, and as a compounding base to make other plastics," explained Matt Walters, recycling programs coordinator at CCSWD.
The media collected in the bins will be transported to the CCSWD office in Garfield Heights. “Residents can be assured that sensitive data will be securely destroyed,” said Walters. “This is why we chose to partner with GreenDisk. We have 100% confidence in their ability to safely dispose data and techno trash in an environmentally responsible manner.”
According to Walters, a common question he receives has to do with ways to safely dispose of items in an eco-friendly manner.
“We ask people to not place discs and media in their curbside recycling,” said Walters. “There are several options for people to free up space and avoid the landfill. We advise people to resell, donate, repurpose, and, when all else fails, recycle.”
If the product is in good working condition, Heights’ residents may want to consider reselling their CDs, DVDs, and video games at stores such as The Exchange on Coventry Road.
Residents with working-condition media can also bring them to the Eco Fair at Coventry PEACE Park on Oct. 8, from noon to 4 p.m, for the fair's media swap.
If donating is a preferred choice for some, the Waste District's website offers a comprehensive list of nonprofits (https://cuyahogarecycles.org/CDs_DVDs_video_games).
And for the inventive mind, repurposing these materials into something new can be extremely satisfying. DIY sites and blogs offer inspiration and ideas.
If you miss the local drive, CCSWD accepts these items at its offices (4750 E. 131st St. Garfield Heights) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on the second Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Natalie Elwell is director of gender equity practice at World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C. She is co-founder of the Cleveland Heights Green Team. She works remotely, and dedicates her free time to advocate for environmental protection and activism.