Ethical Electronics Recycling

Julie Slavet
Mar 2, 2009

TTF Watershed Partnership Hosts Ethical Electronics Recycling Event to Protect World’s Waterways

Ethical Electronics Recycling at Cedarbrook Middle School
on Saturday and Sunday, March 28 & 29, 11am-3pm

Next Spring, Massachusetts resident Christopher Swain will dive into the Atlantic Ocean in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and begin a 1000-mile swim to Washington, DC, in an effort to plead the case for protecting the world’s oceans.

But first, he’ll visit Philadelphia and Montgomery County Schools with the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF).

The forty year-old father of two puts it this way: “We live on a water planet. If we want to live healthy lives, we need to go the distance to protect and restore the waters that we all depend on. I’ve decided to do just that: go the distance–all the way to Washington to plead the case of the oceans. Along the way, I want to help schoolchildren find ways to make our water planet a healthier place to live.”

The ocean swim is part of Christopher Swain’s TOXTOUR project, an ongoing campaign to collect and recycle, ethically, one billion pounds of used electronics. Discarded computers, TVs, telephones, etc., commonly known as “e-waste,” are full of toxic chemicals and heavy metals that are fouling the world’s waterways and ecosystems.

Swain, an environmental educator, was the first person in history to swim the entire lengths of several dirty waterways including the Columbia River, the Charles River, the Hudson River, and Lake Champlain—all in support of clean water.

Last December, the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) collaborated with Swain to collect over 10,500 pounds of e-waste at their ethical electronics recycling eventTM at Cheltenham Middle School.

In addition to collecting e-waste, TTF runs dozens of programs and workshops designed to connect residents to their local creeks, rivers and streams—from rain barrel workshops and stream clean-ups, to their model neighborhood project, combining neighborhood beautification with stormwater management and watershed education.

Since 2007, Swain has led carbon-neutral, ethical electronics recycling events and cross-curricular projects in schools throughout the Northeast. Upon his return to Montgomery County, he will work with students at schools in Abington, Cheltenham, Jenkintown and Philadelphia.

During his school visits, Swain will report on last year’s ethical electronics recycling event and discuss his upcoming ocean swim. And in small groups, Swain will work with students to problem-solve ways to make their everyday activities and purchases more ocean-friendly.

Says Karen Shaffran, a science teacher at Cedarbrook Middle School, “We teach our students that there are a variety of threats to the world’s oceans, but that two of the biggest are global warming and toxic pollution.”

On Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29, from 11am to 3pm, rain or shine, TTF will host an ethical electronics recycling event at Cedarbrook Middle School at 300 Longfellow Road in Wyncote, PA. Members of the public can recycle their used electronics for a fee of $1 per pound.

Items that will be accepted at the event include: Televisions, Computers, Monitors, Keyboards, Drives, Cables, Cords, Peripherals, Copiers, Printers, Cartridges, Fax Machines, Scanners, Laptops, Stereo Equipment, Speakers, CD & DVD Players, Telephones, Remote Controls, VCR’s, Projectors, Digital Cameras, PDAs, Speakers, Radios, Answering machines, Camcorders, Electric Typewriters, Video Game Systems, Pagers, Microwaves, Toasters, Ink Cartridges, USB Media, and Magnetic Media like Zip Disks, Audio Tapes, and Floppy Diskettes.

Nothing collected at the event will be tipped into landfills, incinerated as solid waste, or dumped in developing countries. That’s what the majority of the fee ensures.

Net proceeds will benefit the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership’s environmental programs in local schools.

“Borders and labels aside,” Swain says, “We are one people sharing one watershed. We are islanders, surrounded by ocean. In the end, every choice we make affects our entire world.”

For more information please contact: Christopher Swain, TOXTOUR Team Leader at: or 617-233-4120, or Sarah RobbGrieco at

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