Electronic Recycling Program- Billy

1. Increasing Awareness for Cell Phone/Electronic Recycling Programs

1.1. What

I will be working to continue the IES action of helping students recycle cell phones after they are done with the semester, as IES requires students to have a cell phone prior to beginning the semester just in case they need to be reached in case of an emergency. I will also be working to try to expand this program, so that students will also be able to recycle phone chargers, batteries, etc. directly through IES. Mostly, I will be working to ensure that the cell-phone recycling programs offered through IES will be better advertised to students, as I wasn't even aware of this until researching this for Sustainability class. The recycling programs aren't listed in the student handbook sent out prior to arriving in Barcelona under the cell phone policy rules. I will attempt to increase the awareness of this program by advertising it through flyers.

1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

This action makes IES more sustainable for several reasons. First, if students are made more aware of phone recycling programs, they will be more likely to purchase a cheaper, recycled phone. Therefore, with the correct advertising, the success of the recycling action will be greatly increased. Since having a cell phone is mandatory for IES students, creating awareness for these recycling programs through advertising will encourage students to buy recycled phones, thus allowing the IES program as a whole to become more sustainable by purchasing less new cell phones and accessories than before. This change in awareness by the students because of advertising will lead them to communicate the benefits of this program to future students, and a reinforcing loop appears. This will in turn create long term effects of higher awareness and use of these recycling programs.

This action also is a "Cradle to Cradle" design. The used electronics (waste) will become food again for the process of students buying cell phones. Instead of simply throwing away phones and electronics, this "waste" will be reused again by future students ("food"). This is further discussed in section 1.3.1.

1.2.1. SWOT Analysis

More awareness will lead students to use the program more often than before
Advertising that students may save money by purchasing a recycled phone/recycling their old phone will positively impact the success of the recycling action
Some students may ignore the flyers on the wall
Not all IES students will be invited to the Facebook page, because I am not Facebook friends with all of them
I can use the ecoeuro system to provide incentive to students to recycle their phones
Students spend a lot of time in IES hallways, therefore have plenty of opportunities to see and read the flyers
Students are often on Facebook, so they are easily contacted through the Facebook page
IES abroad may not allow the addition of text regarding phone recycling into the welcome packet

(see free_SWOT_analysis_template.pdf)

1.2.2. Feedback loops

A feedback loop that occurs in this action is when increased awareness of the recycling programs through advertising will lead to an increase in communication of the program within groups of friends (+). This will come back and therefore increase the awareness of the recycling programs (+). This is a reinforcing loop because both awareness and communication within friends increase each other.

1.2.3. Potential Benefits

Short term benefits: The short term benefit of this action is to increase the awareness of the recycling programs endorsed by IES. If the awareness is increased, usage of the program will increase immediately.

Long term benefits: If these recycling programs are better advertised, more students will use them. Students will be pleased with the positive effects of this program, and word will spread to future students that this program is beneficial both economically and sustainably speaking. Future use of these programs will grow, until hopefully a majority of students use recycled phones.

1.2.4. Potential Costs

Costs will be incurred when IES prints student manuals next year with the added text about how recycling programs are useful. However, this cost would be incurred anyways because IES needs to print these books every year anyways. It will cost an IES Abroad Staff member a few minutes to add the text into the computer document that is sent out to students each semester prior to arrival. It will not cost anything to create the flyers, because the paper used will be reused paper that IES students have already used.

1.3. How

The IES abroad program mentions in the welcome guide and also in the student manual given at the beginning of the semester that students must have a cell phone in order to be reached in case of emergency. However, under the cell phone rules, nothing is mentioned about the potential for recycled cell phones, so I will propose to IES the addition of this information for future volumes of welcome packets. Also, I will be printing flyers out to advertise using recycling programs for the end of this semester.

1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

This design is "Cradle to Cradle" ready. There are not many materials used. The paper from the flyers will be reused from paper already used by IES students. In this way, we apply the "waste=food" principle to our inflow of resources as well. After the semester, the flyers will be able to be reused in future semesters for the same or a similar action. Thus, the "waste" created by this action becomes food for future semesters.

IES abroad sends out welcome packets through the mail prior to students' arrival each semester. These welcome packets are digital, so no waste will be created by adding a few lines of text to them for next semester. The physical welcome packets handed out to students during orientation are made out of paper, and will be able to be recycled at the end of the semester (similar to the flyers), and will become food again for the process of the production of paper.

The Facebook page is also a "cradle to cradle" design. Instead of the Facebook page becoming information loss after I leave, I will appoint a future IES student as administrator for the page so that the group can be reused as "food" for a future semester rather than becoming obsolete, and therefore "waste." Here is a link to the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_158177757577631&ap=1.

Also, encouraging students to recycle phones will create food from waste. Instead of throwing out the waste (cell phones), it will become food once again by having it be recycled and then used again by future students.

Lastly, the copyright license I am using allows this action to be a "Cradle to Cradle" design. I am using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, so future students will be able to view, use, and edit my action to further increase its effectiveness in the future. Therefore, we will not suffer information loss, thus creating waste, because students will be able to use this information in the future and also change it to benefit the action.

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

The questions that were included in this semester's survey are:
Do you plan on taking your electric cords with European outlets back home to the United States with you?  
Have you bought any appliances in Barcelona that you know you will not be taking home with you?

Throughout my designing and implementation of this action, I have thought of better questions that would give myself much better information related to this action. For future semesters, I would instead ask these two questions:
Were you aware of potential cell-phone recycling programs prior to purchasing a phone in Barcelona?
Are you aware that you may recycle your cell phone after the semester (if you will not bring it back to your home country) instead of simply throwing it away?

1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

Do you plan on taking your electric cords with European outlets back home to the United States with you?

2 no answer %10.00

9 no %45.00

9 yes %45.00
Around half of respondents answered that they would not be taking electrical cords with European outlets back home to the United States. Instead of having these students throw these cords out like normal, these cords could be recycled.

Have you bought any appliances in Barcelona that you know you will not be taking home with you? 

6 no %30.00 

1 phone %5.00

13 yes %65.00

Many students will not be taking home certain appliances with them. Therefore, with the knowledge of recycling programs, students will recycle their appliances rather than creating waste and simply throwing the appliances out.

However, only 20 students answered this survey out of several hundred IES students, so these results cannot be generalized to the average IES student. Also, the students that participated in this survey were more likely to be conscious about negative impacts on the environment, so this could have affected the results as well.

1.3.4. Incentives

Students will earn 10 EcoEuros for recycling a phone. Students will also gain an incentive by saving money by buying a recycled phone, and also by gaining money when selling the phone back.

As for advertising when I am not here any longer, I will still be the administrator of the Facebook group, so I will send periodic Facebook messages out to the members reminding and encouraging them about the benefits of using recycled cell phones and electronics.

1.3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

I posted on the Sustainability Club website that students will be awarded with 10 EcoEuros for recycling a phone.
Also, I conferred with the president of the sustainability club, Solomon, and we decided that the following text would be appropriate for inclusion into the welcome packet sent to all IES Abroad students underneath IES Abroad Cell Phone Policy:

While enjoying your time abroad, please consider cell phone recycling programs. Recycled cell phones are a cheap alternative to purchasing new cell phones, and it cuts down on waste created by students. Also, used cell phones may be sold back at the end of the semester to these same programs to be further reused and recycled. Please refer to the websites below for further information:

1.3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

This action will be sustained when I am not in Barcelona anymore because the welcome packets sent and given to students in the future will have the text in them advertising how students can recycle phones and appliances. The person in charge of sending out these packets is Matthew Rader from the IES Abroad Chicago office. His email address is mrader at IESabroad.org. This way, students in the future will be aware of the recycling program before they arrive at school. Also, a student in the future in Sustainability class may choose my action to further continue it in the future. Due to my copyright license, they will be able to edit and improve upon my action.

As for the Facebook page, since I must appoint another person as "administrator" of the group to pass down the group, I will allow any future IES student to contact me and request that I make them the administrator of the group so that they can continue the action. I will also post on the IES abroad Facebook page next semester advertising my Facebook group, so that a future student can take over for me when I am gone.

1.3.7. Document format

The flyer designed for this action is a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. This type of file can be edited with FLOSS tools, such as OpenOffice, without losing the layout. This will contribute to the sustainability of this action because future students will be able to use my flyer, or build upon it and improve it for a future action.
Electronics Recycling Flyer

CC-BY-SA Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License so my work can remain sustainable and remain free for anyone to modify in the future.

1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

I have put up flyers in IES advertising different options for recycling appliances at the end of the year

August 2011- Students will be sent welcome packets for the Fall semester with the added text related to recycled phone programs

Fall Semester 2011- I will appoint a student next semester as administrator of the Facebook group so he/she can reuse information I have already posted, as well as add their own. Students will be able to view and edit this action because of my Copyright License, and they can also use and edit the flyer that is posted on the Sustainability course wiki page.

DirectGov. "Electrical equipment: reuse and disposal." http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving/Wasteandrecycling/DG_069060.

Krieger, Jack. "Electronics recycling program." IES Barcelona Sustainability Wiki. December 12, 2010.

Mickle, Annie. "Recycling Electronic Appliances." IES Barcelona Sustainability Wiki. December 12, 2010.

RecelluarToo. http://www.recellulartoo.com. Accessed on April 2, 2011.

YouRenew. http://www.yourenew.com. Accessed on April 2, 2011.

1.6. Students involved in this action

Billy Vydra is the leader of this action. He has created flyers to advertise recycling phones at the end of the semester. He has also asked IES to add the text to the welcome packet regarding cell phone recycling. However, he has not received a definitive answer because he is corresponding by email with the IES Chicago office, as they are the ones in charge of sending out the welcome packets. He is corresponding with Matthew Rader, who's email address is mrader at IESabroad.org.

 Assignment 4: Peer review form

You do not have permission to insert an item

Items found: 18
Grade per action ReviewerComments
96 jschayeMy idea was similar to this. When students get this from school you should have them fill out the form that we used in our group. You can join onto our trash to treasure action so it can be more organized!
95 Sarah ColeThis is a great way to improve sustainablity my only concern is how many people actually use/purchase spanish cell phones? I know our the five girls I live with only one has one and she has used it maybe twice. But it's a great idea for those who have them and have nothing to do with them at the end of the semester!
94 carlafThe thing I really like about the concept of cell phone recycling is the fact that it reinstates the real importance and value of a cell phone. Mobile phones are for emergencies, not a mode of communication for gossiping. If this system functions successfully and the majority of the program gets involved, then it will do more than just save all the wasteful appliances that come along with a cell phone (battery, charger, etc.), it will also teach them a valuable lesson.
94 CFaheyI think this is a great action and it is easy to do on the students part but one challenge is getting IES to cooperate and provide the space and time to resell the products. This action is important because nearly everyone I know has some sort of electronics that they will not be taking back to the States.
93 agluskerI think this is a great idea. Instead of using flyers as advertisements I would work with IES to see if they would allow you to send an email pre-departure of future students so that they know it is an option prior to coming to Barcelona and frantically searching for a cell phone once they land.
93 SolomonBPThe SC is doing a major collection drive at the end of the semester, of all unwanted goods that students don't wish to bring home. If you could take charge of the cellphone/electronic side with Chris, that'd be awesome. We're planning on taking everything, but IES administration might only want to keep the electronics and maybe school supplies. So if you could help advertise, organize and package the cellphones/electronics from the collection drive, that would be awesome.
92 seantubridyI looked to rent a used phone from IES at the beginning but they sent us the information 4 weeks into the semester. I think a lot of students will use this program. Advertising will be extremely important though. Make sure to create a colorful poster to catch the students' attention
91 gnardiBilly I really like this idea because EVERYONE here needs a cell phone. Also, I think that by focusing on a specific recyclable item it makes it a more realistic action to implement. Also, like you said in the cradle to cradle design, it creates barely any waste. I think its really smart that you would also be recycling chargers, batteries and more phone related appliances because I know ive lost my charger many times. Its smart to put information about this into the IES welcome packets. Maybe teachers can also inform students about it during orientation.
91 MbowermanThis is a great idea and I agree with abby an email would definitely be a good idea. This way students have some idea of their options for when they get to Barcelona. It's also great that if a student loses a phone or it is stolen they have the option to rent one.
91 Julia NuttI think that this is a really good idea. I definitely think that it is important to advertise this before the students arrive in Barcelona. I will never use my euro phone again and there is no reason for it to go to waste when someone else can use it and save their money. It is a comfort to have a phone with you and if something happens to yours than it is always good to know that you have an option of having one.
89 Brian McNevinThe electronic recycling program is an awesome way to improve the sustainability of IES Abroad. You figure when we leave there are going to be approximately 500 cell phones that won't need use anymore, which all carry hazardous materials that can harm the environment if not disposed of correctly. Collecting chargers will help lower the ecological footprint as well. In future semesters, I would perhaps have IES offer these phones to future students rather than just disposing of them and saving those students money, displaying the cradle to cradle design.
89 steph.eastlakeI think that this is another really great idea. I think collecting products from old students and having a way to give them to new students will make IES much more sustainable and the students will definitely benefit. A possible suggestion is to also find a way to recycle cell phones sustainably for when they eventually die.
89 Kmacdonald4I think the idea of recycling cell phones along with other phone related appliances is a great idea. I know a lot of students purchased very simple spanish phones upon arriving in Barcelona that are rarely used so will still be in good condition for the next group of students. To avoid the problem of having students purchase phones before arrival or before looking at the IES phones, you should make sure that IES has an announcement that can be sent to all incoming students before departure so that they can make an informed decision
87 MarthaMayI agree with Megan, this is a great idea and that maybe you could use a renting system in order to give an incentive because it would almost be as though the phones are free! Students would just have to put some form of payment down and get their money back when they return the phones.
84 vsienkieGreat idea, especially the advertisement part. More students to be aware about this for it to be successful and sustainable. I also like how you are extending the program to incorporate used batteries and other electronic appliances.
80 m.bernsteinThis idea is great. You should team up and work with the other girls that are doing this action as well. I know the big thing is getting students to participate and having strong incentives. Our idea was to use a renting idea so that students would pay a deposit and essentially borrow the phone for their time in barcelona and return it and get their money back. Look into something like that. Good work.
74 obiajuluThis is a good idea that that is sustainable because it changes the outlook of people.
69 Drew.peroThis is a great idea as it will help recycle these products while providing easy access to certain students while saving them money.

 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 2
1.14 Electronic Recycling Program- Billy Good the whole report, in general (even if too overlapping, still, to other actions, and not well pointed out the uniqueness of your action). Copyright license: good election. Improvable 1.1., 1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.2: "I will attempt to increase the awareness of this program by advertising it through flyers. " If your actions is about advertising, then your "1.2. Why...", "SWOT Analysis", ... sections should be about the impact of advertising on the success of the recycling action, and not about the impact of recycling itself, which are covered by the action of Chris, as far as I understand. 1.2.1: SWOT: Opportunity: use the ecoeuro incentive system. 1.2.2. Feedback loops: "When the usage of recycling programs increases, the purchasing of completely new cell phones will decrease (-). When the purchase of new cell phones decreases, the purchasing of recycled phones will increase (+). This is a balancing loop because when one decreases, the other increases. " The second sentence is saying the same as the first in fact: purchasing of recycled phones will increase not as a consequence of the decrease in the purchase of new cell phones, but as a cause of that! And this is not a real loop: you are just talking about one (negative) causal link... 1.2.4. Potential costs. "I will have to use my time to create these flyers and print them up and put them up. " Well, that was expected to be done before the first deadline. But for sure, do them and leave a copy here of your documents for potential future use or re-use/edition, etc. Read comments on the page from Billy Vydra, for everything related to the reusing of objects. And in short: your action should point out clearly what is different from the action implemented by other students, and adapt each section of your report to that uniqueness of your action. 1.3.1. The Cradle to Cradle design is applicable also to the design you make for the flyers, etc. (document format, copyright license, etc) Survey questions. Compare: 1.3.2: "Were you aware of potential cell-phone recycling programs prior to purchasing a phone in Barcelona? Are you aware that you may recycle your cell phone after the semester (if you will not bring it back to your home country) instead of simply throwing it away?" with: 1.3.3: "Do you plan on taking your electric cords with European outlets back home to the United States with you?" Why are they different questions at the Survey, and at the analysis of the results in the survey? Please, clarify and unify. Also, read the comments on 2011a General Comments 1.3.4. Who will do the advertising when you are not here? Why will they do that, if there is not any incentive for doing it? The alternative is that you achieve that IES Abroad Direction designates somebody of the staff to do it (without any extra incentive). 1.3.5. "I will confer with the Sustainability club about what the text can say in the student manuals about recycling phones. Also, I will confer with them about the best ways to recycle phones and appliances. " Ok, but provide the text as soon as possible, so that you can still get feedback from your class mates in general, also, on how to improve it. Moreover, who in the SC are you asking help to? 1.3.6. "...the welcome packets sent and given to students in the future will have the text in them advertising how students can recycle phones and appliances..." You could have provided the name and surname of the person in charge of preparing and sending such welcome packets, so that you prove that you are implementing the action successfully and in time. You didn't provide such information before the first deadline. Do it before the second deadline, so that the threat that your action fails can be reduced to the minimum (at least due to this risk). 1.3.7. Empty section. Please, indicate the document format of your report and related documents (flyers, etc). 1.4. Time-sheet "Week of March 27- I will put up flyers in IES advertising different options for recycling appliances at the end of the year". That week was over much before the first deadline for your report. Where is the flyer? Where did you put them? 1.5. References: cite the similar actions designed in previous semesters, and see what you can learn from their successes and failures, to avoid repeating the same errors. provide full details from references, and not just the url. 1.6. "I will also ask IES if they think they would be able to add text to the welcome manual letting students know of options for using recycled phones" What if they say no? And this risk/threat, hasn't been even considered in your swot analysis. Improve!, and identify first, and reduce later, risks and weaknesses of your action design.
"Electronics Recycling Flyer" - its not a flier but the contents of the report. (I wonder why)2nd

Page last modified on Wednesday 04 of April, 2012 17:13:35