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What to do with the old PC? This firm wants it

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GREENPORT — In conjunction with the Clear Channel FM station 93.5 “the Cat” and Columbia Green Community College, Maven Technologies and Ruby Enterprises held an Electronics Recycling Day at the college and invited residents to recycle old computers and televisions for free last Saturday, August 20.

Maven Technologies, LLC in Rochester offers what the company describes as Green Technology through the secure and certified disposal of what has become known as e-waste.

Brian Wheaton was the dismantling team leader and site coordinator for the event. “After attending a similar event in Albany, representatives from CCGG contacted Maven to set up a similar event,” Mr. Wheaton said. “It’s a simple way to prevent your e-waste from ending up in a landfill.”

Maven accepts all components associated with computers and televisions. “Anything with a circuit board or power cord, we’ll take and recycle it.” The parts will be separated and items will either be refurbished and resold on the company’s e-Bay site – the company says it wipes hard drives clean of information — or the components will be shipped out to be sorted and recycled.

“All the glass, plastic, copper, lead and the precious metals in the circuit boards get melted out and reused,” he said.

Reached this week at his office in Rochester, Maven President Todd Wheaton said that his company ships some of the components of consumer electronics to “refineries” overseas. But he said that Maven had sought and received an R2 certification under the Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS), signifying that it handles it materials in an environmentally responsible manner. The certification includes what he described as a “highly audited” process of how the company handles the materials “downstream” after they are shipped to foreign countries. He said that some materials, the glass tubes of old computer monitors among them, may not be shipped out of the country.

Electronics manufacturers are now required to recycle their products in New York State, and Maven is one of the companies that handles that task.

The team of about a dozen men in red shirts arrived at 7 a.m. and set up a drive-through area, where people pulled up, popped open the trunk and the team collected the recycled electronics.

Maven’s team then stacked and wrapped the items on pallets for shipping. “Cars started rolling in about 8 o’clock and we will be here until 1 p.m.,” Mr. Wheaton said.” By noon the workers had filled one tractor trailer and had a second one more than half-filled, while a line of eight cars was still waiting.

Mike Ruby was also at the event collecting old air conditioners for Ruby Enterprises of Ghent. “The air conditioners are drained of Freon, which is recycled by a company in Albany,” Mr. Ruby said, “Then the units are dismantled and all of the other parts —  the plastic, copper and aluminum — are separated and melted down to be used again.”

Bill Williams of Clear Channel Radio helped to organize the event. “We are co-sponsoring the event with Columbia Green and we hope to fill as many tractor trailers as possible,” he said Saturday. “We set up the event and booked Maven to come here today; we booked the college to work with us today and we advertised the living daylights out of it. It’s nice, it’s free and it keeps all of this stuff out of the landfills.  We’re very happy with the turnout.”

Guy Apicella is the associate for special programs at CGCC in charge of outside use.  He said ythe college was pleased to co-sponsor the event with the broadcaster “to help do our part to make for a better environment.”

Kevin Tiano from the maintenance department at CGCC assisted as well, operating the fork lift that loaded pallet after pallet onto the waiting tractor trailers.

On its website. maventech.com, the company says in part that “By reducing the amount of equipment that is discarded into landfills, we can reduce the amount of hazardous toxins that seep into our water tables and soil. Proper recycling also limits the practice of burning waste, a process that releases equally hazardous toxins into the air we breathe.”

Reporter and photographer Catherine Sager also produces a blog called The SCENE about news and events in Schodack and Castleton at http://thescene-thescene.blogspot.com/. To contact Catherine Sager email catherine.sager@yahoo.com

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