ECO-Fest: Cool Kids and Genesee'e Earth Club Team Up to Celebrate Earth Day on April 20th

Generation Cool Kids, the student Earth Club of Genesee Community College and the Student Activities Office are working collectively to produce ECO-Fest, a fun-filled, yet educational program aimed at increasing awareness of important environmental issues and opportunities. The event is free and open to the public and scheduled on Thursday, April 20, 2006 from 4:30 until 8:00 PM at Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus with most events occurring in the Forum.

ECO-Fest 2006 includes numerous exhibits, presentations, activities, and prizes, and is an ideal experience for families, young adults and anyone else interested in celebrating Earth Day. With the overall objective of ECO-Fest becoming an annual event that makes environmental awareness as enjoyable as it is educational, planners decided to fully introduce one of the most contemporary environmental issues of today: E-Waste.

The ECO-Fest "Evolving E-Waste Exhibit and Disposal Day" recognizes that one of the most rapidly growing quantities of garbage today is "E-waste" consisting of computers, monitors, television sets, hi-fi sets, mobile phones, typewriters, printers, scanners, personal digital assistants (PDAs), game consoles, and other electronics, as well as non alkaline batteries that operate these devices. The US alone produces more than 220 million tons of (non-battery) E-waste annually! And what many people don't realize is that electronic waste contains materials which require special handling and recycling methods. Many companies, including Regional Computer Recycling and Recovery (RCR&R) are in the business of harvesting some of the precious metals from E-waste, remanufacturing some items, or processing and disposing of waste products properly.

The Evolving E-Waste Exhibit and Disposal Day with ECO-Fest, is being produced in cooperation with RCR&R. The E-Waste Exhibit actually begins on Monday, April 17 with the College community, including faculty, staff, students and administrators kicking-off a count-down to ECO-Fest by bringing together E-Waste from around the campus and from their homes and dormitories to be displayed, collectively, in the E-Waste Exhibit that will gradually grow from Monday, April 17 through Thursday, April 20th in a dedicated space in the College's central Forum. Information about E-Waste and its impact on our waste stream and environment will be an important part of the exhibit.

While the final size of the College's community E-Waste Exhibit is yet unknown, the community at large is invited to join in the effort by bringing in its own E-waste from home to be disposed of properly at ECO-Fest on Thursday, April 20th with curbside service. RCR&R will have their largest truck stationed near the front of the College ready to collect and then haul away the region's E-waste, thereby ensuring that both recycled elements and hazardous materials are properly handled. Some residents are also going to save the pick-up disposal fee which some municipalities are now charging to haul an old TV or monitor. And participating families and residents can expect "smiling curbside service" as well as an ECO-Fest Raffle ticket for their contribution. They just pull up to the "loop" at GCC and student helpers will unload the electronics in exchange for the Raffle ticket. Then they can park their car and head into the Eco-Fest for all the fun!

"With the obsolescence of computer equipment being about two years, E-waste is a big issue in recycling today. It was no surprise to me that the volume of E-waste is increasing three to five percent each year," Donna Rae Sutherland, staff advisor to the Earth Club said. "We hope to educate people about the proper disposal of E-waste and personally, I am looking forward to getting an old hard drive and some of my son's old electronic toys out of my basement."

It should be noted that all kitchen appliances with the exception of microwave ovens and car batteries are not considered E-waste and will not be accepted. For a comprehensive list of acceptable E-waste go to www.generationcool.biz. This program is restricted to acceptable electronics generated from households and residential consumers only. No business E-waste will be accepted. The winner of all Raffle prizes must be present at the drawing to win.

Other ECO-Fest Activities and Exhibitors: In addition to the Evolving E-Waste Exhibit and Disposal Day, these are among the other features at ECO-Fest 2006:

-Campus Clean-Up- interested participants will be asked to don gloves, carry plastic bags and work together to be sure the grounds of Genesee Community College Campus are pristine clean. The Campus Clean-Up runs from 4:30 - 5:30 PM. Participants receive one ECO-Fest Raffle ticket.

-The ECO-Treasure Map will be one of the central activities that involves collecting stickers by visiting many of the exhibitors, learning about their messages, and concluding with the final treasure of a special ECO-gift of a live tree sapling.

-The ECO-Raffle, featuring the grand prize of a 21-Speed Mountain Bike from the College's Earth Club and Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle Shop will occur at 7:30 PM. The ECO-Raffle tickets will be available by participating in various ECO-Fest activities, by bringing in an item of E-waste, or by buying one of the Earth Club's green, refillable mugs, which contributes to the reduction of waste by eliminating beverages to-go disposable cups. The mugs are great for hot or cold beverages, and include: two coupons for a free beverage at Main Street Coffee, access to the discounted refill prices at the Genesee Community College's Cafeteria, and also an ECO-Raffle ticket.

-Hawk Creek Wildlife, Inc. will have three live birds of prey on display and a touchable animal bio-facts exhibit, along with a wide assortment of educational information about local birds and bird habitats. The Hawk Creek sanctuary based in East Aurora, NY is one of the largest outreach facilities and raptor sanctuaries in New York State rehabilitating over 500 animals a year. The group has bred and released over 180 rare barn owls in the past 15 years. The nonprofit organization strives to foster a lifelong commitment to preserve our planet. www.hawkcreek.org for more information.

-Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle Shop's table will have bike trail maps of New York State, information about helmet and bike safety laws, and a special offer providing free bike inspection certificates to help prepare for lots of safe and uninterrupted bike riding miles this summer.

-GLOW Region Solid Waste and Recycling Display including its Recycling Tree, Eco-games, and a few Eco-calendars.

-Pizza Party starting at 6:30 PM.

-Greta Garbage Puppet Show and the Recycling Olympics will occur at 7:00 PM.

-Over 15 other exhibitors and vendors from the community and college will bring a fantastic array of Eco-games, recycling demonstrations, wildlife and Native American exhibits, water and soil displays and more!

The Student Activities Office of Genesee Community College, including The Earth Club is pleased to be collaborating under contract with Cool Kids, a nonprofit organization based in Brockport that is renowned for coordinating some of the area's most exciting, unique opportunities for safe and educational family fun.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Appleton, Generation Cool Kids Director, 585-637-3984 or email at: coolkids@rochester.rr.com or go to: www.generationcool.biz

Donna Rae Sutherland, Genesee Community College's staff advisor to the Earth Club, and the associate director of Marketing Communications, 585-343-0055 x 6616. dsutherland@genesee.edu.

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