Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Feb. 15


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(Posted 5:30 p.m., April 19)
Unique partnership turns computer junk into treasure

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Workers load a 1-800-GOT-JUNK? truck with computer waste that's either too old, or longer in working condition during an e-recyling event on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

1-800-GOT-JUNK? and the Divine Infant Knights of Columbus teamed up for a unique project on the weekend, collecting cast off computer components to be converted into computer systems for financially disadvantaged families.

This is the first year that the junk collector has teamed up with the Divine Infant Knights of Columbus. The community service club refurbishes the computer components and donates them to the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre which finds them a new home.

Cars loaded down with old computer towers and monitors started lining up at the temporary depot in the Silver City parking lot early Saturday morning.

By the end of the first hour and a half, the Knghts of Columbus had dozens of usable components and 1-800-GOT-JUNK? had collected nearly four tonnes of unusable parts and pieces, including a truckload of old TVs, that were bound for one of two e-waste recyclers in the region.

The locally-owned 1-800 franchise has been diverting recyclable material from landfill sites since July 2000. Five years ago, they began to see a dramatic increase in electronic waste as more and more individuals and businesses started to upgrade their computer systems.

They held their first one day e-waste collection event two years ago with moderate success. This year they publicized the event on a much broader scale and the result was overwhelming.

“It’s been excellent,” said 1-800-GOT-JUNK? co-owner Pierrette Raymond. “Obviously, there’s a real need for this type of event, a big part of which is about educating people about getting rid of their electronics.”

Probably the happiest person at Saturday’s event was Chris Sharp from the Knights of Columbus which had a work table set up on site to triage the computers after they were dropped off and determine what could be salvaged.

Sharp was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the components they were receiving.

“We’ve got a lot of good stuff. People are dropping off P3s and even P4s,” said Sharp. “It’s very high end stuff.”

The computer components will go a long way in helping the club keep up with the current demand. During the past six weeks they’ve managed to provide 12 refurbished computer system to 12 financially strapped families in the area and there’s another 10 families on the waiting list.

Sharp has had the distinct pleasure of being able to present some of the computers to their new owners.

“The look of joy in their faces is unbelievable. Tha’s what makes it all worthwhile,” says Sharp.

The Divine Infant Knights of Columbus will be holding their next recycling day in the Divine Infant Church Hall between noon and 3 p.m. on May 15 and 1-800-GOT-JUNK? will once again be on hand to take away whatever they can’t use.

The junk removal company will be holding their next event in support of the Yard Sale for the Cure in the Silver City parking lot on May 29.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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