Trayak, a startup tech company, set out to create a mobile platform that would bridge the gap between sustainability and technology. The mobile application MyGizmo was born- where users can take a stand against electronic waste (e-waste) by buying, trading, and selling secondhand electronics.
Little did they know, MyGizmo would soon take on a life of its own and start a local movement. With the city of Mason, Ohio’s help, the MyGizmo team took up the task of educating the residents of Warren County’s largest city about electronic waste.
“It’s about getting people to see past the use of their electronics. We have noticed an alarming trend in that people don’t even consider what happens to their old devices after they leave their hands” -Prashant Jagtap, CEO Trayak
So what does happen to these devices? Only 12% of electronic waste is currently recycled. However, many recycling companies simply export this waste to developing countries where they can find cheap labor willing to use dangerous methods to extract precious metals and other valuable materials. It is not just a small portion that is exported; roughly 50-80% of what is “recycled” ends up being shipped off. Millions of tons of e-waste currently sit in massive graveyards throughout the developing world. If you would like to learn more about how MyGizmo is combatting this problem check out this article.
To combat this growing problem, July brought with it MyGizmo’s first ever e-waste initiative. With the support of the Mason Tech Elevator, local companies, and Mason’s local residents, MyGizmo launched an electronic waste drive.
“Consumers are constantly upgrading electronic devices and there is no end to this in sight. The goal of this drive was to make members of the community realize how many obsolete devices they have sitting around their households, in hopes of getting them to use smarter in the future.”
-Nick Rigano, Trayak
To promote the drive, the MyGizmo team engaged the Mason community at local events. Educational prize booths were set up in the Mason Community Center. The MyGizmo team also had a presence at the Sunshine Summer Concert series, and the annual Red, Rhythm, and Boom festival.
Students from the Mason’s high school helped run these educational booths. The drive was truly a community effort. The turnout was amazing and everyone involved in this drive helped make it a success
For three weeks, companies and residents took the opportunity to cleanse their homes and buildings of old/ unused electronics to be properly disposed of. A collection of mobile devices, tablets, and numerous 90’s gadgets began to accumulate in recycling bins instead of landfills. At the drive’s conclusion, an estimated 1,500 lbs of e-waste had been recovered, nearly tripling the original target. Needless to say, we were very impressed.
The drive’s success would not have been possible without the major contributions from Top Gun Sales and ConnXus. These two local companies took up the e-waste cause and encouraged employees to take action by having a friendly competition.
“The ConnXus team is extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to Trayak’s e-waste collection drive, ultimately raising over 1,500 lbs of electronic waste. As the world becomes increasingly more reliant on technology, we’re proud to know that we are a part of a greater community striving to minimize e-waste and create a more sustainable environment for future generations.”
-Shannon Frohme, ConnXus
Just in case you were wondering what 1500lbs of e-waste looked like….. Just imagine all of the materials and precious metals that will be recovered through CincyRecycling.
Well considering that the E-Waste filled most of our office. Not much work is being done this week…. Not a bad problem to have. Mason Ohio really came together and stepped up on this one.
“There is a high percentage of electronic renewal every year in Ohio and many times the electronics end up in landfills. By recycling electronics we are keeping our earth clean and “green.” -Cincy Recycling
What happens to the E-Waste? Proper electronics dismantling is handled at the Cincy Recycling Facility
In a time where so many newsworthy stories are negative, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to share this drive’s success with you. It would not have been possible without the contributions and collaboration from ConnXus, Top Gun Sales, the Mason Tech Elevator, and the great residents of the community.
This local initiative not only showed that people are willing to get behind the electronic waste cause, but it was a great step forward for the MyGizmo application as well. Trayak’s hometown of Mason proved to be a perfect test market for the MyGizmo platform that we hope will help us spread our message to millions. We’ve received some important user feedback that will allow us to make this application better and easier to use than ever. We are committed to making MyGizmo the go-to place for the buying, selling, and trading of electronics – with your needs in mind.
We are starting small, with our friends, families, and our local community, but this is something that we want everyone to be a part of. We have big aspirations for the MyGizmo project and hope that you will take up this cause and help us get there. MyGizmo is becoming more than just an application but an integral platform for spreading e-waste awareness. As we prepare to bring MyGizmo to a larger audience this fall, we want to thank you for all of the support that we have received along the way. We are excited to see where this fall and beyond takes us, but we will always remember where it all started, in the city that knocked the first e-waste drive out of the park, the vibrant, devoted community that we are blessed to call home – Mason, Ohio.