EchoWorks, part of Black Hills Works and located at the Western Dakota Tech campus, is open for business after a brief closure in response to COVID-19. EchoWorks, which recycles old electronics and provides an integrated work environment for people with disabilities, while also utilizing Western Dakota Tech students in key aspects of the program.
“We are delighted to welcome EchoWorks and its employees to our campus,” said Dr. Ann Bolman, President of Western Dakota Tech. “EchoWorks is providing an e-recycling option in our community and is offering our students with unique career building experiences that augment our instruction very well.”
By law, the Rapid City landfill cannot accept electronics for disposal or recycling, even to hold for EchoWorks, yet there are more than 1,000 toxic substances associated with e-waste. Improper disposal can lead to soil, water, food and air contamination. E- waste is the fastest growing hazardous solid waste in the world.
Open since the beginning of the year, consumer and businesses have already dropped off more than 10,000 pounds of old laptops, desktop computers, cell phones, office phones, flat screen monitors, flat screen televisions, printers, copiers, fax machines, cords and other items. EchoWorks is also able to shred hard drives to ensure privacy, offering a certificate of destruction. EchoWorks does charge a modest fee for most items, to help cover the cost of recycling those items.
EchoWorks is made possible due grants from the Black Hills Area and South Dakota Community Foundations.
“We are very grateful to these Foundations for their support in making EchoWorks possible for the people we support and our community, and to Dr. Bolman for welcoming us to her campus,” said Dr. Serna. “And, we are grateful to area citizens and businesses for their willingness to recycle with us. The fees for most items are modest and cover our business costs, while also helping people with disabilities and our environment.”
To find out more about what EchoWorks recycles and associated fees, visit https://www.blackhillsworks.org/programs-services/enterprises/echoworks/ or call 718-3000.