What do you call it when you save more than 8,000 gallons of gasoline—that's 166 barrels of oil—and almost 300,000 gallons of water? Education Corporation of America (ECA) calls it "doing its part" for a cleaner environment.
During the recent America Recycles Day the ECA corporate office and several of its affiliated campuses collected and recycled more than 7,500 pounds of outdated computers, monitors, printers, and other electronic equipment, known collectively as "e–waste." The collected e–waste then was shipped to Intercon Solutions in Chicago, a zero–landfill recycler.
"Intercon is one of the rare recyclers certified by the National Association for Information Destruction," says ECA Manager of Environmental Operations Kyle Crider. "Since we feel safe turning computers that once contained corporate data over to Intercon for recycling, we also can encourage staff to bring their old computers and cell phones from home. They won't have to worry about their photos, personal emails, or bank accounts winding up in China."
In other developments related to recycling, ECA has entered into an agreement with PepsiCo to host "Dream Machines" on select campuses. Sometimes called "reverse–vending machines," these Dream Machines accept empty plastic bottles and aluminum cans and print special codes that can be redeemed online for rewards.
"We plan to test Dream Machines initially at our first Ecotech Institute in Denver, as well as at our Birmingham Virginia College campus," explains Crider.
Meanwhile, ECA recently signed a contract with Waste Management to handle recycling as well as waste hauling at all campus locations nationwide. As Waste Management and PepsiCo are working together on the Dream Machine initiative, campus maintenance staff will be able to simply empty Dream Machine receptacles into their local Waste Management campus recycling bins. These high–tech Dream Machines utilize a wireless chip and can email staff when their receptacles need emptying.
ECA owns and operates career colleges including Virginia College, Ecotech Institute, Golf Academy of America and online programs of Virginia College.