Schools and parents join forces

A trial involving Re-Tek (an ICT Asset Management organisation based in East Kilbride) and Enscape Consulting (a specialist consultancy based in Aberdeenshire and Stirling) joined forces with Strathdon Primary School in Aberdeenshire to undertake a collection trial where pupils and parents identified and donated household WEEE items that were no longer used.   Strathdon is a small, rural school with around 30 pupils and has limited access to other reuse/ recycling routes for unwanted electrical/ electronic equipment.

 

The Trial Process

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Trial results in numbers

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Trial impacts and learnings

  • There was a high level of participation and buy-in to the scheme.
  • Pupils are now much more aware of the need to dispose of equipment safely and responsibly.
  • Donated laptops were typically older and unsuitable for reuse, indicating that even in very motivated communities, there is still a tendency to hoard equipment
  • Compared to the other collection model activities carried out by Re-Tek, schools received the highest quantities of data-bearing devices (laptops and mobile phones). This may indicate higher levels of trust that data would be kept secure, and a desire to donate their equipment to support local community initiatives
  • Many pupils commented that parents often “handed down” equipment, which may also explain why older equipment was donated to the scheme.

 

Pupil feedback

 

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“I’m going to help the project by donating in my old devices so the project can try to get the gold and silver out of it for future use.”

“My favourite part was taking apart all the phones, iPads, tablets and computers and cameras. I liked the fact that there is 300 parts in a phone or computer. I also found it interesting that there is silver and gold inside phones.”

 

Benefits

Economic and Environmental – through funding provided the CRM Recovery project, a scalable process of WEEE collection has been demonstrated, with an average of 4.13kg of WEEE was collected by each pupil. If this average was extrapolated to cover all school pupils in Scotland (an estimated 684,415 in 2016) it would equate to around 2.8 million kg of WEEE collected.

Societal – following the successful campaign instigated by the CRM Recovery project, the school was keen to continue their collections. They joined forces with the Forest View Centre in Stonehaven (a facility that supports adults with learning difficulties to gain work experience and opportunities) and through this centre’s new IdeAtek project, they will continue providing collections to the school and will consolidate equipment for subsequent pick-up and processing by Re-Tek.

Educational – some of items collected by the CRM Recovery trial were used by the school to progress their ‘Flashes of Genius’ project. Pupils dismantle everyday electrical objects and then use their imagination to create a new product or machine that would help the world to combat waste and climate change.

 

View the PDF here:

CRM – Strathdon case study