Old Telephone Key Systems
UNM IT is recycling old telephone equipment in a project that began in 2006. Photo courtesy of UNM IT.

In 2006, UNM IT began an effort to reduce its power utilization and recycled unused equipment. One effort UNM IT continues to pursue was initiated by a former staff member, Ellen Phillips, who sadly passed away in 2013 when she was part of the IT Sustainability group. Phillips was fondly known as the “Green Witch” around the office as she encouraged people to turn off computers, monitors, and lights not in use and recycle everything possible.

Electronic equipment remains one of the fastest growing types of waste in the nation. Computers, printers, copiers, old communications systems and a wide variety of other equipment are routinely replaced. However, there are often hazardous materials in some parts of the components. As a result, it is important that this waste be properly managed.

Mark Reynolds, associate director, IT voice group, and his team NEC vendor and Tanya Nespolo UNM IT TSA, have continued the process by removing old telephone systems that are no longer being used but still reside in closets around the University, Health Sciences and UNM Hospital areas. According to Reynolds, this not only removes an old system that is drawing power, current, generating heat and taking up space, but also allows the copper plant that is no longer used to be recycled as well.

Incremental progress is made each month towards the effort to eliminate this old equipment. To date over 50 systems have been removed and recycled, reducing power utilization and freeing up space in the closets across campus. IT will continue this project and process until all of the old nonworking telephone systems are removed.  

“We anticipate this to take one to two more years to complete," Reynolds said.  “We miss Ellen and what she did for UNM IT, as well as her care for the environment."

For more information, contact Reynolds, (505) 277.5988.