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May 2014

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PRACTICES GREEN Tekserve implements 'eWaste' recycling program A ccording to statistics from, electronic waste, or e-waste, represents two percent of America's trash in landfills, but equals 70 percent of its overall toxic waste. Everyday electronic gear and devices contain toxic chemicals such as mercury and lead that, when not disposed of correctly, can leak into the water and air, and are harmful to our nervous system, blood and kidneys. Twenty to 50 million metric tons of e-waste is disposed of worldwide every year, with only 12.5 percent of it being recycled. However, there are many companies and organizations looking to reverse these statistics. Busi- nesses such as New York-based Tekserve ( are offering recycling programs that ultimately work to keep these harmful toxins out of the environment. Since 2007, Tekserve, a provider of technology solutions for creative professionals in a variety of markets, has been partnering with New York's Lower East Side Ecology Center ( to sponsor quar- terly recycling events throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island for their "eWaste" program. According to Lara Ngai, graphic designer at Tekserve and project manager for the joint initiative, the program has so far resulted in the collection of almost 900 tons of discarded electronics. "This has been a very successful program for us," she says. "We've been extremely happy with the results so far." Essentially, anyone looking to discard of an electron- ics item can do so at one of the Lower East Side Ecol- ogy Center's locations throughout the region and/or at Tekserve's New York location once a year during its on-site recycling event. Lower East Side Ecology Center handles and sorts through all the electronics that have been handed in and repurposes and resells items that can be salvaged as low-cost options for bargain hunters, people in need, etc. "It's a great way to make use of something that another person didn't want," adds Ngai. "And it falls in line with the green initiative as well. Items that can't be reused are then recycled in a safe and eco-friendly way, so [they're] not harmful to the environment at all." "Our electronic waste reuse and recycling program is one of the Lower East Side Ecology Center's best- known programs and is a great way to ensure that unwanted or broken electronics are given a second life through reuse or responsible recycling," says Caroline Kruse, development director for the Lower East Side Ecology Center. "We have been offering the program since 2003 and have been offering e-waste collection events in partnership with Tekserve since 2007, which has been a very positive collaboration. By working together, we are able to bring awareness about e-waste reuse and recycling to public and business electronic equipment consumers. Our program aims to make responsible disposal of electronics as convenient as possible because the sooner you donate an item that you are not using, the more likely it is to be able to be reused." To encourage people to participate in these events, Tekserve offers a number of incentives, including a credit at its store and a raffle for a MacBook Air at the end of the event, which, according to Ngai, is "the smallest and lightest laptop, and uses the least amount of energy." Tekserve hopes the program will encourage customers to embrace a cleaner lifestyle. Tips To Keep It Green By Lara Ngai Tekserve 1. Unplug It: Do not keep your comput- ers and laptops plugged in at all times. Not only does it use unnecessary electricity, but it will drain the battery over time and you'll need to replace it sooner. The same goes for phone chargers as well. 2. Consider Ecofonts: These are fonts that use less ink with tiny hollow dots to create type spaces, instead of solid ink. Thet reduce ink consumption when printing, sav- ing on costs. 3. Buy Green: When looking to buy new, find companies such as Tekserve that offer a selection of green products — the Solio solar charger for mobile devices, solar backpack chargers if you're on the go, the Logitech wireless keyboards (which is solar powered, doesn't need any batteries, and can last up to three months on one charge), and the MacBook Air, which uses the least amount of energy. powered, doesn't need any batteries, and can last up to three months on one charge), and the MacBook Air, which uses the least amount of energy. 36 Post • May 2014 Tekserve helps keep tons of e-waste out of landfills. By Marc Loftus & Linda Romanello

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