Upstate News

May 5, 2009
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Upstate Medical, Walmart team up on recycling initiative to benefit children’s hospital

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — SUNY Upstate Medical University is raising money for the Golisano Children’s Hospital by turning used inkjet and laser cartridges, cell phones and PDAs into cash through a special recycling program with the Walmart Supercenter in Camillus.

SUNY Upstate officials say the recycling and fundraising initiative could bring in nearly $20,000 in annual support for special programming and amenities for children being cared for at the Golisano Children’s Hospital, which opens this September.

The special recycling program works like this: SUNY Upstate employees all across campus are asked to send printer cartridges, cell phones and PDAs through internal mail service. Once received by the mailroom, they are packed and stored on pallets for delivery to the Walmart Supercenter in Camillus, where store employees volunteer their time to sort the recyclables. Once sorted, the recyclables are picked up by Environmental Reclamation Services of Erie, Pa., who then cuts a check for the used goods.

A recent collection of about 1,300 assorted cartridges totaled nearly $1,500. Prices fluctuate depending on the market, so it’s difficult for officials to say just how much one cartridge is worth.

“This program is the best of both worlds: We’re keeping material out of the landfill and at the same time, benefiting our youngest patients,” said Cassandra Rucker of the Upstate Medical University Foundation.

Walmart’s support of the program is essential to making it a success, Rucker said. “We are so grateful to have Walmart as a partner in this project,” she said. “They have been so dedicated to the Golisano Children’s Project and our pediatric services.”

Walmart and its employees raised more than $300,000 last year for the Golisano Children’s Hospital and with this recycling program they are helping to raise more money.

“This all about Walmart and its employees giving back to the community,” said Walmart Supercenter facilities manager Michael Laux.

Rucker and Laux hope the program will continue into the near future. “As long as we have printer cartridges and other materials to recycle, we’re set,” said Rucker.

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