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