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Verizon Wireless Recycling Rally
March 8th • 3601 Converse Road
7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Electronics welcome!

It’s that time of year again—the birds are chirping, the sun is shining and temperatures hovering in the mid-70s have us all dying to spend our days on Wrightsville Beach. Spring has definitely sprung in the port city. That means it’s also time for some spring e-cleaning. Yes, “e”-cleaning (and, no, that doesn’t mean encore offices; although, if you’re willing, please, do call!). It, too, benefits the environment and our military men and women.

On March 8th, Verizon Wireless is hosting its second public recycling rally at its  call center on Converse Road, off Shipyard Boulevard. Folks can bring any and all of their old electronics, as well as glass, plastics and aluminum. An outside recycling company then disposes of the items, making sure to strip them down to their essential materials and metals, which can then be distributed for re-use. For instance, the plastics in an old keyboard can be used to make a dashboard in a new car. It’s tech-savvy green living.

“Verizon’s objective with our recycling rallies is to provide an easy and convenient way for our employees and the communities we serve to dispose of electronics in an environmentally friendly way,” James Gowen, Verizon’s vice president and chief sustainability officer, said in a statement.

Through these types of recycling events, Verizon was able to offset the equivalent of 562 tons of carbon dioxide last year. They hope to top that number this time around, and along the way help some of America’s returning heroes by partnering with Work Vessels for Veterans.

“It was about four years ago, I was trying to figure out what to do with my old boat,” John Niekrash, Connecticut lobsterman and Work Vessels for Veterans representative, said. “I decided to give it to a veteran coming home from Iraq. I wanted to do something of value to help him start earning his living.”

A dedicated network of businessmen-turned-volunteers collects vessels, which they consider to be anything of help to a veteran with his civilian career or pursuance of higher education. “Originally we were going to do a boat a year,” Niekrash informed, “but the word got out around the country so fast that we were overwhelmed with vets asking for assistance with other types of vessels.”

The focus on the recycling rally on March 8th will be laptops. Laptops will be set aside from other collected e-waste, hard drives will be wiped, and they will be refurbished and given to well-deserving veterans.

“Laptops really are one of our big things,” Niekrash stated. “Some of these vets come back without a laptop and nowadays you can’t go back to school or start a business without one.”

Veterans apply on the charity’s website to receive a laptop or vessel, and the group has helped over 500 returning military men and women so far. However there are so many veterans who apply for laptops from the group, the demand is a bit overwhelming. “We’re actually backlogged right now so any laptops we could get would be great! We can really use any,” Niekrash noted.

Verizon’s sustainability office has traveled all across the country hosting these types of e-recycling events since 2009. When they came to Wilmington last, they collected more electronics than at any other stop in the program’s history. Wilmingtonians could be upping the ante this year and showing support for the brave men and women who work so hard to protect us.

The recycling rally will take place March 8th from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Verizon Call Center at 3601 Converse Road. Other items accepted include: televisions, computer cables, keyboards, gaming consoles, telephones, stereo equipment, paper shredders, alarm clocks, printers, cameras, remote controls, small electronic appliances (including coffee makers and toasters) and any electronic toys without batteries.

For more information on Work Vessels for Veterans go to www.wvfv.net.

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