RI President 2022-23
District 7450 Governor
Swarthmore Rotary Leaders
|Joseph Patrick Lesniak|
Years of Service
Guests Last Meeting
Meetings and Events
4 Way Test
Of the things we think, say or do
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families ..." Walt Whitman
Last Meeting SummaryBy David Firn
Viktoriia Zacharova is a Swarthmore College student from Ukraine that our club assisted by covering her travel and visa expenses when she first enrolled. In her junior year, Viktoriia received a President’s Sustainability Research Fellowship (PSRF). The PSRF program allows students to learn by taking stewardship over a vital sustainability challenge. Viktoriia chose electronic waste as her challenge and researched, developed, and implemented a program that not only provides environmental benefits and saves money but also promotes social justice.
Viktoriia noted that the college generates large amounts of electronic waste. For example, the college replaces 400 laptop computers every four years. Although e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream, there was no comprehensive, campus-wide approach for its disposal. Instead, each department was left to deal with e-waste on its own. Some departments sold their used electronics on eBay, others paid for disposal or simply placed unwanted goods into the waste stream. Viktoriia pointed out that most waste in our area gets incinerated in Chester. This is a particularly unacceptable solution because incineration releases toxins in e-waste.
Viktoriia’s project provides a cohesive approach to the disposal of e-waste. Virtually anything with a plug is collected at a central point. The college has partnered with People Advancing Reintegration-Recycle Works (PAR) to take the collected material. PAR disassembles the items (and ensures that the information contained in them cannot be accessed) and resells various components, such as precious metals, as raw materials for re-use.
PAR also lends a social justice component to the Viktoriia’s project. PAR provides transitional employment to people returning from prison, while also providing job and interview skills. The employment is intended to be temporary. As employees transition to other employment, other recently incarcerated employees take their place.
Last fall, collection was limited to faculty and staff, yet 3,000 pounds of e-waste was obtained, saving the college about $4,800 in disposal fees. This spring, collection was open to everyone on campus and at least twice as much by weight was collected.
Viktoriia enjoyed this project very much as she was able to interact with all functions on the campus, not just academics. She feels that she has made a tangible difference on something that she is passionate about. She hopes that her system will not only become permanent, but eventually extended to the rest of the Swarthmore community as well.