Collection totals almost 10,000 pounds of waste

LEROY — Faculty at Pine River High School and members of the local community collected nearly 10,000 pounds of electronic waste with the help of Comprenew, keeping it out of local landfills. The recycling drive was the second in one year, and PRHS graphic arts teacher Carrie Duffy is the driving force. “We started doing it here, because I recycle at home. I try to teach the kids that a lot of items they throw away do not biodegrade,” Duffy said. The drive collected computers, televisions, fans, VCRs, printers, copiers and more at the school, located at 17445 Pine River School Road. The items will be transported to Comprenew, which is a nonprofit organization out of Grand Rapids that recycles four million pounds of electronics each year. It is certified with the state of Michigan as being an R2 for responsible recycling and it also erases computer hard drives and do not charge for the process. The company accepts televisions, cell phones, microwaves, scanners, mp3 players and much more. Collections can be taken during the week or on weekends, and at schools and churches. Shelley Huard, vice president of service and growth for Comprenew, said electronic recycling is quickly growing. Some of the items the company deals with can be some of the most toxic to place in landfills because of lead content and other elements or chemicals. The goal is to create awareness on the issue and provide a place for people to dispose of their electronics. “We’re not only environmental, but we’re educational,” said Huard. “Electronic disposal is not being handled properly. Nobody thinks about their electronics.” For Pine River High School and other rural areas, the drives are significant and can help relieve a burden for residents who have had items in their possession for years. “We have great collections from people stockpiling because they don’t know what to do with the TV or computer,” Huard added. Comprenew will take the items, extract and recycle what they can, or refurbish the electronic item and sell it to consumers at a discounted rate at one of their e-Stores. As an extra incentive, Comprenew gives two cents for each pound collected back to the collection host. For the recent collection, Pine River High School will receive about $200. Currently, the PRHS recycles plastics, aluminum and tin. The electronic drive, Duffy said, is one more way to ensure additional waste stays out of land fills. “We only have one Earth, and I wish people would take care of it,” she added. At the first drive in October, four trailers were filled. This month, donors filled nearly two large trailers and Duffy said she is pleased to see the drive’s success. “The community came and we got a lot of positive feedback,” she said. “As long as there is a need, I’ll keep coordinating drives.” For more information on Comprenew, visit
. To set up a drop-off location, call Shelley Huard at (616) 988-8270.