Came across this great piece in the Kingston Whig Standard.

Students at Kingston’s Rideau Heights Public School were taught the value of recycling their used tablets and smartphones through an in-class presentation by the Ontario Electronic Stewardship in a “Recycle Your Electronics” campaign. The school program used both video games and interactive presentations to engage fifth-grade students and educate them on ways to reduce e-waste, as well as the consequences of landfilling it. When children were surveyed, the majority of the class indicated that they had at least one cell phone or tablet.

One of the games the children took part in was called “Miners vs. Recyclers.” The kids participated on opposing teams, dressed as gold miners and recycling factory workers, and competed for who could find the most precious metals within a limited amount of time. The trick — the miners had to dig through an entire forest display to find a single piece of gold while the recycling team found multiple materials within a plastic model of a tablet. The remnants of the miners’ area — some packing peanuts representing the earth, as well as miniature cardboard trees — lay scattered all over the classroom once the kids were done enthusiastically digging. The point that was successfully illustrated. Approximately 324 times more gold can be extracted from one ton of used smartphones than from one ton of mined ore, without touching the environment. The program also stressed the importance of scientific innovation in drawing new from old, while simultaneously stressing the importance of preserving the environment as much as possible and reducing our carbon footprint.

Since the Recycle Your Electronics program started in 2009, approximately 67 million devices have been recycled into manufacturing, and 96.5 per cent of residents in Ontario live within 10 kilometers of a Recycle Your Electronics collection depot.

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