Kawerak Celebrates Ten Years of E-Waste Recycling

After being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, Kawerak was able to celebrate ten years of their E-Waste Program by collecting over ten thousand pounds of old electronics. 

The tenth annual E-Waste Event took place on June 4th and 5th and gave residents an opportunity to dispose of their e-waste. Vanessa Tahbone, Kawerak’s Environmental Coordinator, said that the celebration was not hindered by the unexpected snowy weather.

“On Friday, we had some barbecuing happening, some music, and some door prizes. So it was a lot of fun… And so far this year, with the barge that came in just last week, we’re able to get one connex out already, and we’re hoping to fill another one here this weekend.”

– Vanessa Tahbone

While simply throwing an old toaster or radio into the dumpster might seem like the easiest way to discard e-waste, Tahbone emphasizes that properly disposing of electronics is essential for a healthy environment and a healthy community.

“If you burn the [E-waste], it lets off particles and all kinds of stuff up into the air. The fallout for that can be up to 200 miles. That’s land that we pick berries on, pick greens on, we hunt on, and animals eat lichen off the ground, and that kind of stuff. So we’re really trying to advocate for a healthier environment and healthier lifestyles for our communities. So that’s what this program is about.”

– Vanessa Tahbone

Kawerak is currently planning on opening a recycling facility to provide more convenience for disposing of recyclable materials. Regional residents can dispose of e-waste year-round at recycling centers located in town.

Image at top: Despite the snowy weather, Kawerak was able to collect over 10,000 pounds of electronics at their e-waste event. Photo courtesy of Kawerak.