By Villeneuve, Melissa on January 12, 2017.
Recycling isn’t just for cardboard, paper and (some) plastics. Lethbridge residents can recycle their old electronics, and help raise funds for community initiatives, during the Lethbridge Community Network’s fourth annual Ecycle Drive, which runs until Sunday.
Each year, the drive diverts more than 45,000 pounds of e-waste from the landfill.
LCN partners with a recycling company and receives “pennies” on the pound for recyclable electronic components. They hope to raise over $6,000 from the fundraiser this year.
So far, the response has been great since the drive kicked off last Saturday. Alan Schneider, LCN’s executive director, said they are halfway to their goal of collecting 50,000 lbs.
Proceeds from recycled items help support LCN’s operations and contribution to an intelligent community. LCN provides public access to the internet through 40 public computers in the community, as well as computer training.
Reusable electronics are refurbished and put back into the community, often for purchase at a reasonable price.
Recently, LCN has been in pursuit of building a permanent electronic recycling facility. The initiative is still in the planning stages, and no plans have been formally presented to city officials, Schneider explained.
“It’s something I’ve been working on over the last year and things are starting to come to fruition. I want to make this an ongoing permanent solution.”
The success of last year’s Ecycle Drive led to the organization adding a residential and commercial electronics pickup service. This gave Schneider the vision to create an ongoing e-waste recycling depot, similar to a bottle depot, in a central location.
“It’s coming together in the sense that we are going to be able to put together a small building where we can receive the items, hire people to sort, collect, and go from there.”
The city already has an electronics recycling area at the landfill, he noted. Schneider hopes to catch the “recycling wave” within the city and leverage grant funding to make it a reality.
“What’s great is if we could do it here, we could replicate it in other cities and we could become a feeder place for Calgary,” he said. “I think people can see the positive in what we do and getting the computers back into the community.”
LCN is also working on a strategy to provide free public Wi-Fi in the community, and affordable, subsidized internet to low-income families and individuals.
Residents can drop off unwanted electronics items at e-cycle bins in the following locations through Sunday: 1817 3 Ave. South (across from Mint Car Wash); Save-On Foods West; Lethbridge Public Library – Main Branch; and LCN’s downtown office (next to Bread Milk & Honey CafŽ).
Everything from PCs, notebooks and cellphones, to TVs, gaming consoles, stereos and monitors, can be accepted. Batteries and non-electronic items cannot be accepted.
LCN advises that personal information be removed or deleted from the devices prior to disposal.
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