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Redwood Materials: Jen, Daphne, and Amy meet with Sophie Boel

Posted by Daphne Hulse on August 23, 2023

Attendance: Jen Fraterrigo, Sophie Boel, Daphne Hulse, Amy Fruehling

Sophie Boel introduction: been with Redwood 2+ years, managing construction and engineering team, moved to external affairs (consumer recycling, outreach and education programs). Taking over the university partnerships piece from Seema. Two pieces to look at together:

  • Consumer education, branding materials, and how-to for safe collection and mailing.
  • Research - existing program to bolster with data, or bring about together.

Recalling our first conversation with Redwood Materials:

  • What is redwood looking for?

  • How can the university offer collaborative experiences with Redwood? Research, battery collection drives.

    • Jen forwarded Sophie the documents she had provided Seema as far as research opportunities go.

Redwood's experience with collection:

  • 40-50 Audi and Volkswagen dealerships have collection bins - regularly collected and shipped back to Redwood.
  • International Rotary Clubs host collection events throughout the country.

Daphne's research on where batteries are sourced from and where they end up across campus. Daphne could only speak to batteries that are procured with university money. There is not a gauge on what the community does with batteries and what their needs are.

  • DRS collects Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (NMH), Lithium (Li) Ion & Polymer (LiPo), and Silver Oxide (AgO) batteries for recycling. Daphne and Jen don't know the name of the recycling vendor, but they will find out. Sophie says there is a chance that the vendor already works with Redwood Materials, we just have to find out. Rechargeable batteries that are part of a device may get removed, and the device sent to someone like Redwood Materials to find recycling outlets for the device materials, too.

What could Redwood provide support on if the university would undertake something with them?

  • Bring Seema back into the conversation side (she is involved with business development support).

Has Redwood done many events with universities? No, they haven’t done many events with universities:

  • University Nevada - Reno, as this is located close to their HQ.
  • Have done events in collaboration with International Rotary Clubs:

    • Environmental & Sustainability Action Group (ES-RAG) - made collection events a part of their piece on sustainability

    • 50-100 collection events - active consumer engagement pieces

    • Earth Day events

  • For events, Redwood can send a Redwood employee - if there is a lot overlapping in terms of time of year (especially Earth Day or Month), some of the rotary district governors act on behalf of Redwood go to an event to staff and educate.

  • Reach out to Urbana and Champaign counterparts - they hold an annual event for Illinois residents for electronics recycling. Maybe there is a need for more than just once a year? And if they combine forces with the university and Redwood, we would have more resources and support to go around.

    • It will be good to hear what the cities think, as their population will likely be the main source for the waste. Students don't often have these kinds of devices and batteries laying around.

  • Any money that can be reinvested to the program? The university tries to find ways to reinvest when possible.

    • Sophie to talk to Seema about this