A local Boy Scout wants to spread the word about the vital importance of electronics recycling. To get that message across, he will renovate the county’s two collection sites for such items in order to encourage all citizens to participate in an activity that he said serves not only to improve the community, but the environment as a whole.
Eagle Scout candidate Casey Parker, of Troop 80, presented his proposed Eagle Scout project to the Sampson County Board of Commissioners during a recent meeting. The board accepted the project and authorized several suggested installations to revamp the site, while commending Parker for his efforts to benefit the county.
Parker is seeking to educate citizens on the importance of properly disposing electronic waste (e-waste). In developing his project, Parker met with county administration staff and representatives of Waste Industries, which operates the county’s convenience sites under contract with the county.
“The benefit of this project will be to improve the electronics drop-off areas and to provide accurate electronics recycling information,” said Parker. “This project is important to me because I love technology and truly care about our environment.”
For his project, Parker will design educational materials — flyers and signage — and construct improvements to the two convenience sites on opposite ends of the county that accept e-waste, at Ingold and Spivey’s Corner. The costs for the improvements will be covered through donations, including Waste Industries’ assistance with the cost of metal signs and crush and run gravel and Parker’s family for materials for a three-sided barrier filled with the gravel to house electronics at both sites.
Service to others and citizenship are important tenants of the Scouting organization, and Eagle Scout candidates are required to apply those tenants to their projects by planning, developing and leading others in efforts that are helpful to any religious institution, school or community.
County officials said they are fortunate that Parker chose to benefit the county’s solid waste program by promoting and improving the e-waste recycling segment.
Parker said electronics recycling protects the environment from harmful toxins such as lead and mercury, while helping conserve rare materials on the planet, such as gold and silver. It also frees up space in landfills for correct waste, he said.
“It is the right thing to do to preserve our world,” Parker stated.
There will be educational pamphlets at each site in both English and Spanish and the metal signs will point out what is and isn’t accepted. Accepted items include batteries, cell phones, laptops, monitors, TVs, copy machines, keyboards, mice and DVD players. Some items not accepted are air conditioners, refrigerators, thermostats, dehumidifiers, smoke detectors and microwaves.
The Eagle Scout project is very much a family affair for the Parkers.
While Waste Industries has offered to donate the crush and run, the metal signs and the pamphlets, Parker Gas will provide all necessary lumber, including posts. Parker’s parents, Daren and Michelle, will pay for needed supplies and materials, including rebar, screws and concrete, while Parker’s grandparents, Mary and Nelson Parker, have agreed to provide the pamphlet boxes.
Minus what Waste Industries is donating, the Parkers are fronting $524 in materials and supplies to the project.
Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.