The community didn't want to miss the chance to let go of Styrofoam, batteries, miscellaneous computer parts and other hard-to-recycle items for free, staffers of Oregon State University's America Recycles Day collection discovered Tuesday afternoon.
"It seems like people are accumulating things in their garage," said Jed Dawson, a junior majoring in computer science and a volunteer. He noted the large amount of "ancient electronics": 3-foot-wide microwaves and boxy computer monitors.
"They don't know where it can be recycled," Dawson said.
For four hours, OSU students and employees, along with community members, could drop off recyclables at the Memorial Union's Brick Mall. Because some of the collected items, such as Styrofoam, can be collected elsewhere in Corvallis for a fee, turnout was bigger than many of the volunteers expected.
By 2 p.m., the so-called e-waste electronic equipment completely filled two 40-cubic-feet-sized packing boxes. Volunteers placed items in four other large boxes and filled copy paper boxes with old batteries.
They'd also filled three jumbo-sized, 8-feet-tall plastic garbage bags with Styrofoam.
OSU's Campus Recycling plans to take the items to various locations: Styrofoam will go a specialty recycling facility in Portland, and thin plastics - like plastic shopping bags - will go to local facilities.
But packing peanuts stay on campus, with OSU's property services. The goal is to reuse all packing peanuts when shipping surplus property items.
Marvin Watts, a junior majoring in business administration, volunteered at the collection to receive extra credit in his Geosciences 300 class, but forgot his pile of dead batteries at home.
"I'd planned on it!" he explained.
But thankfully the recycling collection was meant to educate others on how and where to recycle year round. To ensure no future recycling confusion, volunteers also passed out - or in Watts' case, kept for himself - half-sheet lists of where to recycle the items year round.
He learned that dead batteries can be dropped off at the first floor of OSU's Valley Library, First Alternative Co-op's Recycling Center at 1007 S.E. Third St. or the Allied Waste Depot at 110 N.E. Walnut Blvd.
Contact Gazette-Times reporter Gail Cole at 541-758-9510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.