Interrupting the Mine to Landfill Pipeline
The demand for the latest phone, gaming device, or even vacuum seems to be holding steady, if not growing. From mineral mining to landfills, every stage of the electronic evolution […]
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The demand for the latest phone, gaming device, or even vacuum seems to be holding steady, if not growing. From mineral mining to landfills, every stage of the electronic evolution has detrimental impacts to the health of the Cook Inlet watershed. By growing electronic recycling throughout the watershed, we can bolster the recycling economy in Alaska and beyond to keep reusable materials in circulation and out of our landfills where they risk leaching toxins into our waterways.

Electronics recycled during Inletkeeper’s annual spring events are palletized and transported to Central Recycling Services in Anchorage where they are further sorted and barged down to Metro Metals in Vancouver, Washington. Components of each device are then dismantled and sent to refineries. Central Recycling Services and Metro Metals are R2 certified recyclers: meaning their recycled materials can
be tracked to the point where they are repurposed as a reusable commodity. The passionate individuals running these facilities attest that each year they process more electronic waste than the last, a welcomed shift.

Inletkeeper can attest to the same increase; in 2022, we saw our largest collection year to date. Electronics Recycling events in Seward, Soldotna, Ninilchik, Homer, Seldovia, Port Graham and Nanwalek collectively diverted 45,515 lbs. of e-waste from Peninsula landfills. Since 2006, Inletkeeper has recycled 452,400 lbs. of electronics, our goal is to cross the 500,000 lbs. marker this spring.

As we celebrate these milestones, we look towards the future. We are exploring ways Inletkeeper, in partnership with Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste and private organizations, can overcome storage and cost barriers to offer more opportunities to recycle electronics on the Kenai Peninsula throughout the year. In the meantime, mark your calendar for our 18th Annual Spring Electronic Recycling Events.

If you would like to go a step further and volunteer during one of our collection events, please contact us at recycle@inletkeeper.org.