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Overflowing with recyclables

There’s a lot of extra room in basements and garages across Central Massachusetts this season, following the successful electronics recycling collection days at UMass Chan Medical School in October. 

The two-day event collected nearly 20,000 pounds of unwanted electronic items, including 2,758 pounds of old tube television sets. “The first day was warm and sunny, so we expected a good turnout,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy manager for the medical school. “The second day was rainy, but that turned out to be even busier. It was a pleasant surprise.” 

On October 18, the collection took place at the Pine Tree parking lot on the main Worcester campus. That day 8,326 pounds of material was collected, including 32 televisions weighing in at a combined 1,334 pounds. The second collection occurred on October 19 at the school’s Shrewsbury site on South Street. There, 10,424 pounds of old electronics was recycled, including 38 television sets that tipped the scale at 1,424 pounds. 

The items were collected by Northeast Material Handling of Lowell, Mass., the medical school’s partner for recycling a range of bulk products, including old furniture and appliances. 

“Members of our sustainability committee have toured Northeast’s facility, and it really is quite impressive,” Lucas said. “They break it all down, mostly by hand, and reclaim, reuse or recycle just about everything from the precious metals to the plastics.” 
See photos from the collection days: 

Melissa Lucas reviews some of the items collected at the Worcester campus. 

Kerry Breed, from UMass Chan Medical School’s Radiation Safety Department and a member of the school’s Sustainability Committee, checks in Yunsheng Ma, MD, Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine, who brought in several electronic items for recycling. 

Waiting for the truck: material brought to the South Street recycling collection.