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NetNews

Think you've got a ton of stuff to get rid of? The Language Resource Center at St. Lawrence recently did just that -- they disposed of an estimated 2,000 pounds of outdated multi-media materials, and found a way to do it that not only saved the University money, but is also kind to the environment and helpful to a worthy organization.

Language Resources Director Carine Ullom says that with the move from analog to digital media, the facility found itself with decades worth of reel-to-reel tapes, U-Matic video tapes (pre-dating Beta), audio cassette tapes, VHS tapes, floppy disks and other obsolete materials that needed to be cleared out. Working with Facilities Operations Grounds Manager Marcus Sherburne, it was determined that simply landfilling everything would be very expensive, due to the fact that the materials are not environmentally friendly.

Instead, the materials were shipped (at a much lower cost than landfill "tipping fees") to a facility in Columbia, Missouri, operated by GreenDisk Services. The Washington-state-based company recycles out-of-date technology, employing mentally and physically challenged adults in their communities, as well as inmates at correctional facilities.

Ullom, who stated proudly that the time-consuming, year-and-a-half-long project "makes good environmental sense and good economic sense," was assisted by students. Shown in the photos, from the top, are Ullom with Jessica White '06, of Pavilion, New York; Yordan Minev '07, of Bulgaria; and Arnold Kanyang'onda '05, of Kenya. The students put in some 40 to 50 hours of labor in boxing up the materials for shipping.

Posted: July 23, 2004