When your bring your electronics to Green Star for recycling, a team of dedicated volunteers carefully sorts them into several categories.
1) Reusable Electronics
Green Star separates functioning, newer-model computers, vintage or collectible items, and other electronics in order to refurbish them, as needed, and sell them as a fundraiser for the organization. Green Star only does this after obtaining explicit permission from the donor, and all information is wiped from computer hard drives and smart phones before preparing them for resale.
Locally, items are available for sale at Computerwerks or at Green Star’s monthly Electronics Recycling Depot collections and other events. Re-useable or refurbished items can also be purchased on Craigslist, Amazon and eBay. Loose boards, broken or damaged smart phones, tablets, and laptops with hard drives removed may be sold for parts on eBay or through the e-Stewards Marketplace.
We may also donate your electronics to the Fairbanks Children’s Museum for their take apart station where kids have the opportunity to take items apart and learn how things work.
2) Wires and Metals
Electric wires and non-ferrous metals (aluminum heat sinks, random copper tubing, etc.) will be transported and sold to C & R Pipe and Steel, a local metal recycler, as a fundraiser for Green Star.
3) Electronics for Recycling
All other electronics are sorted, packaged, and prepared for shipment to our electronics recycler, Total Reclaim, Inc (TRI). The prepared electronics are then loaded onto a trailer donated by another program partner – Air Land Transport – and shipped to the TRI facility in Anchorage. From there, TRI ships the electronics to their final destination – the main TRI recycling plant in Seattle, Washington. Once they reach Seattle, the items are broken down into their component materials and prepared for reuse on the commodities markets. The recycling process separates the electronics into their component parts – such as leaded glass, precious metals, non-precious metals, and plastics – and makes these materials available to manufacturers. TRI researches all of their downstream vendors to ensure they are environmentally responsible.
In early 2016, Green Star executive director Becca Brado took a tour of the Total Reclaim recycling facility in Seattle Washington, here are a few photos from the tour.
4) Ink & Toner Cartridges
Ink and toner cartridges are donated to the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District’s Bridge Program. Bridge ships cartridges to Dazz Technologies, who has a zero landfill policy. Dazz re-sells cartridges to refilling companies, scraps them for parts or sends them back to the Original Equipment Manufacturers. Bridge also ships cartridges to PCR, a broker in Kent, WA. PCR cleans/sorts the cartridges and sells them to Clover Technologies Group, which is R2 certified.
5) Outdated cell phones
Outdated cell phones will be listed through the e-Stewards Marketplace or sold to GRC Wireless, which has a socially responsible, zero landfill environmental policy. Additionally, no wireless e-waste is refined in developing countries.
Green Star’s goal is to promote recycling and proper disposal of unwanted electronic equipment in ways that protect the health and well-being of the communities where electronics are produced, de-manufactured, or discarded.