Outer NE Portland neighbors collect and recycle 17 tons of ‘e-waste’

Find out why Central Northeast Neighbors held the event –
and why it was successful beyond all of their expectations …

Taking a brief break, sitting among some of the tons collected at their Electronics Recycling event, Ronda Johnson, CNN’s office manager and project coordinator, says she’s both amazed and pleased at the response.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The photocopier at Central Northeast Neighbors (CNN) was on its last legs – and the coalition office didn’t have money to replace the old machine that clicked, whirred, chugged, spit out a copy or two – then shut itself down.

“Our copy machine is in really sad shape,” added CNN’s office manager and project coordinator, Ronda Johnson, as she took a break from during the Electronics, Plastics and Metal Recycling Fundraiser she spearheaded. “We came up with this event to raise the money to buy a new one.”

At the event, held at Glenhaven Park, just north of Madison High School, cars and trucks were lined up on September 20, filled with all kinds of “appliances that plug in the wall”, as well as plastic items and Styrofoam.

CNN’s executive director, Alison Stoll, checks in and collects donations from one of the many neighbors ready to unload their expired electronics and used plastic things.

Raises money; reduces landfill dumping
In addition to helping buy a new copier,” Johnson told us, “this event shows our community how to recycle, and helps them recycle this stuff the right way. Without having an event like ours, a lot of electronic equipment would just go into the landfill.”

The recyclers break down all of this equipment into component parts, Johnson explained. Pointing to an abandoned home computer, “All of the parts will be recycled, reused, or broken down, to the point that only a handful of the remaining pieces will to into a landfill.”

The volunteer pitching old plastic into a recycling bin, is Rose City Park neighbor Fred Stovel.

“We kept the fee is very low; we’re charging just a little more than our recyclers are charging us,” Johnson added.

“We have quite a bit of traffic,” said CNN’s executive director, Alison Stoll, as she checked in folks waiting to drop off their recyclables. “In fact, the response is more than we expected. We,ve had people from Milwaukie, Oregon City and Clackamas. It looks like the word got out!”

Master Recycler Lisa Sundvy organizes recycled plastics at the event. “All of this plastic goes to a company that actually grinds it down and reuses it; none of it will be going into a landfill,” she said.

17 tons of waste
A total of 33,970 pounds of “e-waste” was collected during the one-day event, Johnson later reported. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 16,383 lbs of monitors and televisions (151 monitors/210 TVs)
  • 3,638 lbs of computers (154 computers)
  • 7,679 lbs of general e-waste, including stereos, power tools, misc. electronics
  • 2,748 lbs of scrap steel and printers
  • 650 lbs of lead acid car batteries
  • 605.5 lbs of insulated wire
  • 353.5 lbs of household batteries
  • 151 lbs of mixed ABS plastic
  • 141 lbs of fluorescent light bulbs

“We were all very excited about the results of this fundraiser,” Johnson said. “We thank all of our wonderful volunteers, and all of the media that helped us publicize our event.”

Learn more about Central Northeast Neighbors, Inc., by visiting their web site: CLICK HERE.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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