1) Story from Suren Sanjay - University Heights Branch
Our branch has been consistently collecting batteries and other e-waste from various branch locations by setting up Amazon shipping boxes and reusable plastic containers. One of the summertime challenges I encountered was scheduling pickups when employees were on vacation. Coordination became a bit tricky, but with effective communication and flexible planning, we managed to work around these hiccups. Despite some hurdles, including scheduling pickups during employee vacations, my goal is to expand these efforts throughout various locations in Orange County.
2) Story from Dave Chiang - Cerritos Heights Branch
Over the summer we had left battery collection bins in places like senior homes and in several companies in the Cerritos industrial district. They were very happy and eager to help us collect batteries in order to help our environment. They told us that they appreciated what we were doing and told us to keep up the good work for the upcoming year.
3) Story from Timothy Bang - Yorba Linda High Branch
On June 4, 2023 we were able to recycle over 2,000+ batteries. We contacted our city center, the Yorba Linda City of Commerce, where over email and in person visits, we were able to establish a battery drive with them. Previously, they had always had bi-monthly e-waste drives, but they did not accept any batteries. We saw this as an opportunity to host a battery drive in partnership with the city hall center to allow people to recycle their batteries. With this, many people came, often with their own container stacked full to the brim with batteries. With joy on our faces, we were glad we could have this partnership with our community and to help many people recycle their batteries.
4) Story from Kevin Li - Bellarmine Branch
This summer was more successful than I could've imagined. We collected over 8,000 batteries! ServiceNow, this company we teamed up with earlier this year, gave us a massive boost by donating 4,000 batteries. They even set up more than 10 collection boxes all over their buildings. It's awesome to see that when their employees noticed how quickly we were picking up the batteries, they started bringing in even more.
But that's not all. We also did some local community battery hunts. At the Mother's Day fair by Tzu Chi, we scored about 1,000 batteries. And a shoutout to SuperMicro, another partner company, for chipping in with another 1,800 batteries.
To top everything off, I hit 100 volunteer hours by the end of August! Overall, this summer's collection was plentiful, and I'm so thankful for everyone who helped out.
Story from Kevin Li - Bellarmine Branch
The most significant contributing factors to this month's success were our two partners SuperMicro and ServiceNow. SuperMicro is a computer server manufacturing company in the Bay Area and they have contributed over 3000 batteries since last year. Another partner is ServiceNow, a software company my dad works at. We reached out to their VP in charge of workspace last year to discuss the possible partnership through emails. But after the initial enthusiasm, we haven't got any response since then. This year my dad moved to a new building, and he happens to sit next to its facility manager. As expected, person-to-person communication is far more effective than emails. When my dad brought up the topic of the possible partnership, she happily agreed. We then collected 770 batteries from this newly established partner.
Story from David Chiang - Cerritos High Branch
The Emerald Isle Senior Apartments manager Shanon told us that some residents were eager to help donate batteries to help the environment. They told us that they appreciated what we did and wanted to help by donating even more.
1) Story from Suren Sanjay - University Heights Branch
For the month of April, the University Heights Branch collected batteries from local businesses. My brother and I went door-to-door to these businesses and collected the batteries placed in the multiple collection boxes at Fullerton Elks Lodge #1993, Hillcrest Senior Condominiums, and in the Fullerton Towers 1 Business Offices. We also collected batteries in our University Heights neighborhood. In total, we collected 2,199 batteries, about a 52.5 percent increase from our previous collection of 1,442 batteries in March. We are proud of our efforts at the University Heights Branch are making a difference in our community by bringing everyone together to address the growing e-waste problem.
2) Story from David Chiang - Cerritos High Branch
The Cerritos High Branch has been working very hard to collect batteries in many ways. For example, we would go out to the nearby businesses and ask them if we could collect and recycle batteries for them. In one office a lady was very excited and happy to see us because it turned out that she had been collecting batteries for 4 years and didn't want to throw them away. She was very excited and happy to give us her collection to recycle. Another company allowed us to place a basket where we could collect batteries in their lobby. Overall, the Cerritos High Branch values hard work and we believe that with discipline and initiative we can work with our community to impact our environment.
3) Story from Katelyn Gan - Sage Hill Branch
The Newport Beach City Earth Day event on April 22 was a resounding success, co-hosted by Sage Hill Branch, Newport Beach Mayor's Youth Council, CR&R, and California Electronics and PaperCuts. The event offered valuable services such as free document shredding, e-waste disposal, and compost giveaway. Compared to last year's event, the turnout was remarkable, with over 860 residents attending, representing a significant increase of 73%. Notably, TAE Sage Hill Branch also participated in last year's event.
Impressively, the event managed to collect approximately 8,650 pounds of e-waste and 3,526 batteries, while also shredding nearly 32,650 pounds of paper material. Moreover, around 2,600 bags of compost, equivalent to an astounding 77,700 pounds, were distributed to the attendees.
1) Story from Jaqueline Zhou - Troy High Branch
Troy TAE partnered with the Northwood TAE branch and hosted a battery collection event in Brywood Park, Irvine, on the last day of our school's Spring Break. We made advertisements of our event via Nextdoor, Whatsapp, WeChat, posted flyers in the neighborhood, and even went door to door notifying residents of our collection event. Our effort definitely paid off; we had a great turnout on the event day! Residents from different parts of Irvine stopped by with lots of used batteries. We even had residents waiting at the park before the starting time of our event. We received very positive encouragement from the residents as people dropped off their used batteries - "This is a much needed service and thank you for all you do!" During the 3-hour service, we collected 1958 batteries. The event was a great success. Our service contributed to a healthier environment and put smiles on a lot of people's faces!
2) Story from David Chiang - Cerritos High Branch
The Cerritos High Branch put collection containers in both of the senior apartment lobbies. The management was very helpful in assisting us with our task in cleaning up the environment. They advertised the event in their newspaper, and started collecting batteries. Over the period of two months we were able to collect 1,070 batteries from both of the apartment homes and are still collecting batteries. Overall we were able to acquire our batteries by just asking politely.
3) Story from Mugilan Nambi - Northwood Branch
The Northwood branch, in collaboration with the Troy branch, hosted an e-waste collection event at Brywood Park in Irvine on March 25. To promote the event, we conducted door-to-door campaigns, displayed signs around the park, and utilized social media. On the event day, batteries were collected from the booth at the park and through door-to-door efforts. Many individuals offered to donate their batteries at a later date. In total, we collected an impressive two thousand batteries. Even children contributed used batteries. It was heartening to see the residents of the surrounding communities show such support for our e-waste collection. The volunteers found the event to be a satisfying experience, allowing them to contribute to environmental preservation through e-waste collection.
4) Story from Suren Sanjay - University Heights Branch
Our University Heights branch has worked tirelessly to promote battery recycling in Fullerton by engaging with local businesses. Despite having busy schedules, we have been actively contacting businesses through door-to-door visits and phone calls and have collected a minimum of one thousand batteries. We are grateful for the continuous support from all the businesses we have approached. Even after school and on weekends, we have been walking around the community to spread awareness about our cause. This month, we have expanded our efforts to reach businesses in multiple buildings with my parent's help. We are overwhelmed by the positive response we have received from our community, and we hope to continue positively impacting the environment.
5) TAE March Movie Night
Our TAE members enjoyed bonding with the movie Wall-E during March Movie Night! The movie featured the devastating effects of too much waste on the environment and the unfortunate future humanity faces if we don't step up to protect the environment.
With electronic waste (e-waste) on the rise, many countries all over the globe are faced with a dilemma. How can we thrive in a technology-driven world while preventing e-waste from threatening human health and the environment?
Student leaders in several countries in Asia have founded TAE branches and led the forefront in mitigating this global problem. Two leaders from Singapore and Japan sent us the following two YouTube videos that describe the inspiring e-waste recycling situations in their communities.
One of TAE’s branch leaders, HongYi Lu, a student at Raffles Institution in Singapore, describes in this video below that “anything regarding e-waste, you can recycle.” What makes Singapore’s E-Waste recycling program so effective is the incentivization of it: citizens will earn rewards just by dropping off dud batteries and electronics they no longer need. This effort is backed by Singapore’s National Environmental Agency and helps cut down on local e-waste all throughout Singapore.
Another TAE's branch leader, Tianchen Zhang, a student at the United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) in Singapore, published the following video detailing Singapore’s methods for reducing e-waste and advocating for responsible e-waste management.
Tianchen remarked that the “[Singapore] National Environment Agency (NEA) is the leading public organization…ensuring a clean and sustainable environment for Singapore,” and that “the government has done a really good job.” The NEA runs the Extended Producer Responsibility Framework (EPR), which pushes electronics companies to take responsibility for their products and prevents future e-waste production. One of the ways the NEA has efficiently ensured the program’s success is by placing e-waste collection bins in high-traffic community centers as well as by incentivizing participation in the program with rewards. This has helped encourage public awareness and support, allowing for a strong and effective program.
Siqi Hu is another pioneering branch leader. Located in Osaka, Japan, at Temma Junior High School, Hu collaborated with Alen Zhang, the Assistant Director of the TAE Operations Committee, to film an enlightening video on Japan’s recycling programs.
As described in the video, in every residential area the residents are required to separate the waste into categories such as cardboard boxes, glass bottles, plastic bottles (labels must be taken off), other plastics, batteries, and miscellaneous trash. Similar to TAE’s own battery recycling methods, batteries have their own specific collection box and are retrieved to be recycled regularly!
Written by Jacqueline Zhou, California, USA