For this year’s “Earth Hour” on Saturday, March 25, the Lebanese environmental NGO “G” hosted a friendly city-wide competition to see which organization in Beirut could recycle the most electronic waste, or “e-waste.” Schools, universities, companies, and NGOs entered the competition and collected old computers, laptops, printers, print cartridges, and more in preparation for the big day. To qualify for the drive, all items had to be transported to Beirut by Bike in Downtown where entries were then weighed on the organizer’s official scale.
Despite learning about the event one month in advance, ACS came in second place overall with 1.2 tons of e-waste, after Makassed University. The Go Green Team, an ACS high school co-curricular, led the on-campus drive. Working closely with the school’s IT Department and Director of Operations Ziad El Hdary, the Go Green Team raised most e-waste directly from campus. “We asked students to contribute as well but only got a few laptops and cell phones. IT was the one to contribute the bulk of the e-waste from printers, projectors and old technology around the school,” relayed Go Green Team’s co-president Youssef Kobeissi '18.
Not knowing how much waste they’d be receiving, the Go Green Team booked a small car to transport the materials the day before the event. “We weren’t aware of how much was going to be coming in and when we saw what IT had for us, it was a huge surprise. It was way too much to fit in the car that we had,” exclaimed fellow co-president Pia Abou Mikhael ’18. The team ordered a moving truck at the eleventh hour to accommodate the move.
Abou Mikhael and Kobeissi both relayed how appreciative they were to be holding the drive at an eco-friendly school like ACS. “When we told the administration what we were doing, they were so encouraging and willing to help,” said Abou Mikhael.
The Go Green Team plans to participate in the e-waste drive again next year but this time will start preparing months in advance. “Most of the other participants knew about the event at least three months ahead of time. One month was not enough time for us,” said Kobeissi. “This year we focused mostly on high school but next year we will expand the drive to the whole school,” he added. “There were little kids passing by when we packed up the truck asking us if they could send their e-waste, and next year we will also involve parents more.”