ComputerBy Sheila Read

Old electronics accumulate in many of our homes as we succumb to the lure of the latest technology. Until recently, my husband and I had outdated laptops, boom boxes, a VCR, printer, speakers, and multiple cords cluttering up drawers, closets and the shed. I vaguely knew not to dispose of these devices in the trash because of the environmental hazards posed by toxic metals in electronics, but I wasn’t sure what to do with them.

Now’s your chance to combine going to Mass on with safely recycling old electronics. On Sunday, June 10, American Greenz will be accepting electronics in the church parking lot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. American Greenz guarantees the safe destruction of data on hard drives.

 Benefits of Electronics Recycling

Our Christian faith calls us to be good stewards of the Earth. Catholic Social Teaching tells us that Jesus’ great commandment – to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves – includes respecting God’s good creation and protecting the environment that sustains all people. Recycling electronics is a way to demonstrate environmental stewardship and show solidarity with others whose lives are affected by the ways we consume and dispose of minerals. Here are the main benefits:

  • Recycling electronic products allows for the reuse of resources and engineered materials, including metals, plastics and glass. This conserves resources and avoids the use of energy in mining and manufacturing.
  • Recycling electronics avoids pollution of air and water with toxic materials such as lead and mercury, which can be released from electronics if improperly disposed of.
  • Recycling electronics (or buying fewer devices) helps reduce demand for so-called “conflict minerals.” In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, armed groups have been committing brutal violence against civilians in conflicts for control over mines and transportation routes. The minerals fought over are gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum, most of which eventually are used in computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. For more information, go to http://www.raisehopeforcongo.org/.

Items Accepted Include:

  • Desktop computers
  • Laptops
  • CRT monitors
  • TVs
  • Hard drives
  • Fax machines
  • Printers/Scanners/Copiers
  • Keyboards
  • Mice
  • Home appliances
  • Speakers
  • Gaming consoles
  • Music systems
  • Radios
  • Cables and cords

If you have TVs or other items that are too heavy for you to bring to the recycling event, call American Greenz at 919-484-8998.For a fee of $35, American Greenz will pick up electronics at your home.

Questions? Contact Sheila Read at sheila.read@stfrancisraleigh.org or 919-847-8205 x420.