Have you ever purchased a new computer, printer or DVD player and had no idea what to do with the old one?
Throwing away electronics is environmentally unfriendly. Niagara E-Waste will properly dispose of your discarded electronics for you. The relatively new company is owned and operated by Brock graduate Ryan Dear (BBA ’11), who started the company in 2009 after winning the Ontario Partnership for Innovation and Commercialization (OPIC) business plan competition. Dear also was granted $3,400 through the Nitsopoulos Family Entrepreneurship Award this year, which helped with his operating expenses.
Dear aims to create a more sustainable environment, and by partnering with an approved OES processor (Ontario Electronic Stewardship), Niagara E-Waste ensures that your electronics are disposed of safely and not exported to a country without the proper infrastructure.
Niagara E-Waste is a free service that will collect and recycle your electronics anywhere in the Golden Horseshoe. From a small cell phone to a large photocopier, Dear will pick up and dispose of “anything with a plug,” as his website boasts.
In Niagara alone, more than seven million pounds of electronic waste, hundreds of students’ furniture and an abundance of clothing is disposed of improperly. On Nov. 25, Niagara E-Waste and Students in Free Enterprise Brock (SIFE) partnered in the Give Us Your Goods campaign to collect items that are no longer in use.
SIFE Brock is one of 50 chapters across Canada that aims to develop and implement projects that create economic opportunity. Some SIFE members collect canned goods on Halloween as part of their Let’s Can Hunger campaign, sponsored by Campbell’s Soup. SIFE currently operates five programs, including Give Us Your Goods. By raising awareness and encouraging an active role, Give Us Your Goods helps to make Niagara a more sustainable place with an optimistic future. This was the second time this event was held in Niagara and it was the first time it was expanded to two drop-off locations: one on campus and one at Southridge Community Church in St. Catharines.
There were three components to this event, each having its own partnership: electronic waste, furniture collection and a clothing drive. Dear collected all electronics, diverting more than 4,000 lbs from landfill through his Niagara E-Waste company. Furniture was donated to the Hope Furniture Bank and clothing was donated to Goodwill. Akwasi Bonsu, president of SIFE Brock and a BBA ’13 candidate said, “together we instill a greater accomplishment than we ever thought possible: change.”
Dear says the most challenging part of starting Niagara E-Waste was getting started and finding the right network to support his endeavours. However, his company has found great success with similar events at McMaster University and working with SIFE Brock is benefiting the company as well.
SIFE Brock and Niagara E-Waste will host another Give Us Your Goods event at the end of the 2011-12 school year, so keep your eyes peeled for more information. If you have electronics to be recycled sooner than that, simply visit www.niagaraewaste.com or call Dear at 289-925-6224 for a pickup.