Gordon in the News: last updated 04/02/2008

Gordon Takes Recycling to The Next Level with The Introduction of Techno Trash

March 28, 2008               


Jessica Prudhomme
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA - With Earth Day approaching, many people have the color green on their minds. For the past 19 years Gordon College has been a state leader in recycling initiatives, including the biodiesel project and the Clean Machine; student-led composting behind residence halls; and in the use of nationally certified 100% green cleaning products on campus. In 2007 Gordon recycled 33% of its daily waste--one of the best percentages for organizations in the North Shore area. Recently this "green" campus introduced Techno Trash--a new type of recycling that goes beyond restoring paper and plastic, and saves technological waste as well.

Electronic waste has become a major global issue as a result of the 21st century's technological boom. Landfills are overflowing with old computers, keyboards, monitors, handheld games, and other technological waste such as CDs, DVDs and ink cartridges, filling our atmosphere with dangerous toxins such as lead, mercury, cadmium, barium, arsenic and phosphorus. These toxins not only affect the environment, but also threaten the current and future health of humans and wildlife.

That's where institutions like Gordon are revolutionizing recycling with the introduction of Techno Trash--a recycling practice that reuses resources from electronic devices and accessories. Gordon started taking part in this practice about ten years ago. In the past, as a result of the expensive collection fees for recycling technological waste, campus users were charged a $5 recycling fee. But the College recently expanded the program free of charge, hoping to encourage the campus community to recycle all forms of technological waste. Mark Stowell, assistant director of Gordon's Physical Plant, is excited about the College's commitment to the new recycling practice and hopes to expand it even further. "Our hope is to get Techno Trash receptacles in every dormitory in the near future," he said.

On April 24, two days after Earth Day, Gordon will celebrate Restore Creation, an annual environmental awareness event. The day's focus is on stewardship and environmental responsibility from a Christian perspective. The College will announce the Techno Trash initiative throughout the Restore Creation celebration.

Liz Hurley, lead custodian at the College, first heard about the Techno Trash movement while at a conference. She was excited to know Gordon was already participating in many of the practices the conference presenters were introducing. "I was pleased to see how well Gordon was already doing in their recycling effort," she said.

"There's always something we can be doing better and something new we can add," said Stowell. "From our meager beginnings in 1989, when we separated paper from trash, to a point now where we recycle up to 15 different products, the circle keeps expanding, and we're always looking for news ways Gordon can benefit the environment."

Over the past few years, Gordon has converted 95 percent of its buildings to natural gas heating. This has greatly reduced the emission of greenhouse gases. The College is also currently researching solar and wind-power alternatives for future sources of energy.

Even the school's new Ken Olsen Science Center was planned with the environment in mind. Energy-efficient boilers, lighting systems, and an advanced energy management system have been installed to make the facility as environmentally friendly as possible. A light colored roof will also be used in the new facility to reduce "heat island effect." High-value roof insulation, waterless urinals, and low-flow toilets will also be installed in the Olsen Center. 

For information about Gordon's new Techno Trash initiative, or other green programs at the College, contact Cyndi McMahon at 978.867.4236 or email . Information about Restore Creation  is also available at www.gordon.edu/restorecreation.

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Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The College offers majors in 36 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian Colleges.