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E-Waste Recycler Adds Public Goal Tracking for Schools

An e-waste recycler has launched a new goal tracking feature that shows school and district participants how close they are to their yearly fundraising goal. FundingFactory pays entities such as schools to collect and ship used printer cartridges, cell phones, and other small electronic devices. Now participants can sign into their accounts to set a yearly goal, measure progress, and share that information through a public URL with community members, such as parents and business supporters.

FundingFactory, a marketing component of Environmental Reclamation Services, based in Erie, PA, said in a statement that it's also providing participating schools with sustainability reports that let members view and share the impact of their recycling efforts on the environment through charts that break down the qualifying recyclables by type and show what didn't go to the landfill. The report also lists monthly and yearly carbon emissions reductions based on the specific e-waste items.

For every item the company accepts from a school, it adds money or credit to the school's online account. A recent blog entry said the company is paying a dollar minimum for each cell phone or qualifying toner cartridge donated and at least a dime for each printer cartridge, GPS, iPod, MP3 player, digital camera, laptop, or other small electronic device. Schools can also choose to earn credits to spend on goods, such as an Amazon Kindle (305 points) or a digital camcorder (from 125 points), and Nasco gift cards that can be used to buy educational products.

Participation in the program is free, and the company provides marketing materials, collection displays, and shipping boxes for returning the goods collected.

"When thinking about new initiatives for the 2012-2013 school year, we wanted to re-emphasize our commitment to helping participants reach their goals," said Sean Michaels, president of the company. "We’ve created new materials, like the goal-tracking and sustainability features to make it easier for participants to set and reach goals. Throughout the year, we plan to launch more innovative tools to help participants communicate and connect with local businesses and other supporters. "

According to a YouTube video published by the company, it has kept 20,000 tons of cartridges and digital devices out of landfills.

Among participating schools are West Boylston Public Schools in Massachusetts and Springfield Elementary School and Feagin Mill Middle School in Georgia.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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