Labor of Love: Recycling
anymore, everyone is doing it. And its happening just about
everywherethe office, in schools, at the gym, and of course
at home. Recycling has become a way of life for most folks.
Yet for Matt
Love of Washington States Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
Engineering Publications Office, recycling has gone beyond paper
and inter-office envelopes. It occurred to Love that each time his
office issued a new Engineering Publications CD-ROM, the previous
CD became a useless piece of environmentally unfriendly plastic
to his customers.
All Relative: Whats Obsolete Here Is Helpful Somewhere Else
Love also realized
that although the older CD-ROMS were obsolete for his customers
purposes, the information and examples on the CDs could benefit
people not doing construction for WSDOT.
contacted International Programs and the Pan American Institute
of Highways at the Federal Highway Administration, and offered to
make the CDs available for free distribution to their governmental
clients overseas," explained Love.
His offer was
met with enthusiasm and gratitude.
So in October
of 1999, Matt sent out a new batch of CDs, but this time with
an accompanying letter requesting customers return the old CDs.
The response was overwhelming-- by customers returning the slightly
outdated versions of the CDs as well as the developing transportation
departments overseas receiving them. To date, Love has received
922 CDs (two editions). These returned CDs are now being
used in such places as sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the
Plus and a Model for Others
did great work by looking not only beyond the department (WSDOT),
but how our discards can help other people around the world. By
not just landfilling our "old" obsolete Engineering Publications
CDs but making them available to others with less resources
should be a model for the entire department to consider when trying
to think outside the box to improve efficiency and reduce waste,"
stated Al King from WSDOTs Highways and Local Programs Division.
recycling project continues to receive recognition from all corners
of the world. Under the guise "technical CD use program,"
Loves project has been invited by the City of Stockholm in
Sweden to participate in the Stockholm Challengethe
worlds only global contest of its kind for projects that show
how information technology can be used to improve living conditions
for people and strengthen communities. Loves CD recycling
program will compete in the Public Service and Democracy category
and will be challenged by many pioneering projects. Winners will
be announced June 5th.
not Loves project takes the prize, one thing is certain --
the effort and dedication behind this project has made a positive
impact on many lives. And as Einstein said, "Ideas are a dime
a dozen. People who put them into action are priceless."
agency or organization could recycle your out-of-date CD-ROM products
to help others. For more information, contact Matt Love, Engineering
Publications, Department of Transportation Building, Room SD7, PO
Box 47408, Olympia WA 98504-7408. (360) - 705-7430, Fax: (360) 705-6861,
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
is the Public Information Officer at Washington States Department
of Transportation. Contact her at WSDOT/PO Box 47322, Olympia WA,
98504 (360) - 705.7079, or email@example.com.
May 4, 2000