Altogether, more than 250 area residents, businesses, schools and government agencies recycled just shy of 29 Tons (57,939 pounds) of e-waste at this year’s “E-rase your E-waste” events, organizers reported.
The amount collected was just under last year’s record-breaking total of 59,630 pounds, which brings the program’s eight-year total to more than 266,000 pounds or 133 tons of e-waste that has been recycled in Richland County. “We just missed setting another record,” Jackie Couture, co-chair of the local “E-rase your E-waste” committee, said. “So we were very pleased with this year’s participation.”
In particular, the group’s four, summer month, mini-collection events attracted a lot of participation again this year, Butch Renders, another e-waste committee member said. Overall, Couture and Renders reported a total of 255 individuals, businesses and organizations participated in the group’s 2012 collection events, including the four mini-collections and the final weekend event held Sept. 7-8. They brought with them hundreds of electronic items, including 381 monitors, 387 CPUs, 218 printers, 11 large copiers and 204 television sets. “And a lot of those TVs were huge!” Renders added.
Luckily the group had lots of help from loyal volunteers who return year after year to help out, as well as good support from county agencies. “The Richland County Solid Waste Department lets us use their shop space for all our events,” Renders noted. “And they also let us store the e-waste there until it can be picked up, which we very much appreciate.”
Renders and Couture thanked all the volunteers who came out to unload, load, palletize and shrink wrap the items, and once again pointed to the Richland County RSVP program as a major supporter of the effort. “So many of our senior volunteers return every year and several times in a single year….Stan Lindblom, Deek and Betty Risinger, Bill Forrester, Regina Schwindt and more ….they’re there whenever we need them,” Renders said. “Basically they’re family now.” Also helping out again this year were several members of the Sidney High School Key Club including Jesse Staffanson, Stephanie Ler, Taylor Thiessen and Ciara Parks. And new volunteers for 2012 included the Juvenile Probation Office and its community service students, Couture said, adding, “They all worked hard and we really appreciate it!”
Local businesses also regularly step up to provide pallets, cardboard, shrink wrap and promotional support to aid the effort, Couture noted, for which the E-rase your E-waste Committee is very appreciative. They include Sidney Health Center, Sidney Sugars, Richland Opportunities Inc. and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. “Our thanks to them,” Couture said, “And, of course, a big thank you to our e-cycler, UNICOR, which allows us to provide this service free of charge each year.”