A Cleaner Frontier: Green Star recycling in Fairbanks works to cut down e-waste

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 3:41 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Green Star of Interior Alaska works to cut down e-waste in Fairbanks.

According to Melanie Savala, Executive Director of Green Star of Interior Alaska, Green Star provides several programs to help reduce electronic waste in the Interior, including recycling donated electronics of all kinds as well as repairing computers brought to them. Savala explained, “We’re an electronic warehouse, we do recycling for electronics. So what people do is they bring it to the borough first, and the borough brings it over, they separate it by electronics and bring it to us on Thursdays. Also people can drop off, if they want to, drop off a laptop that’s in ok condition, we’ll refurbish it and give it back out to the community. That’s one of our huge programs that we’re very proud of.”

Electronic waste recycling includes properly disposing of batteries, reusing the precious minerals used to make electronics, and other actions to help cut down on environmental impact. Savala continued, “We’re just out here trying to spread the word. Tell them, ‘bring everything to us, we’ll get it sorted, we’ll get it palletized, we’ll send it where it needs to go.’ Alaska’s beautiful, very beautiful and we need to save it and preserve it, and this is how we are trying to.”

According to Savala, electronics and their components can be purchased for next to nothing, and Green Star provides non-profits and those in need with computers and the like - anything from hard drives, to motherboards, to even cords and cables. Savala remarked, “So what we do when we get it here, some of the electronics, is we break it down. We take it apart, we break it down, and we send it to the place where it needs to go. For example, we just sent a box that was 15 pounds full of CPUs and memory drives, and sent it down to Colorado. They bought it from us, but we took it apart from everything and sent it down to them. So what we do is we take everything apart, break it down as much as we can, and then we send a lot of it to Anchorage, some of it to Washington State. We get it to where it needs to go.”

For more information on Green Star and their recycling programs, you can visit their website.

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