Reuse First, Then Recycle…There Really IS A Business From Reuse

By Angela Haas

The world of electronic recycling has changed dramatically since we first started in 2003. Now there are many large and small companies joining in. Unfortunately, most do not care about reuse, nor do they care about being a true recycler. The Missouri law doesn’t cover residents. That’s where WITS comes in.

On average WITS diverts about 6.5 million lbs of electronics from the landfills each year with over 68% of that being reused back into our communities. The difference in our numbers is that we not only collect what most “recyclers” do for FREE, computers, monitors, printers, etc. but we also collect all what many of them do not: Stereos, vcr, blenders, toasters, household batteries, televisions, etc. and believe it or not, most of what we get does in fact work. Because we put people to work repairing and refurbishing, this equipment goes back into YOUR communities and serves those families who are in need. Many recyclers, and even some nonprofits who now collect electronics, will ship it out of state or sell to other recyclers for scrap. Working equipment is being taken away from those in need for a few dollars or less. We ask you to support reuse first.
In 2010, we donated thousands of electronics, parts, accessories and computers to churches, nonprofits, low income families, disaster victims and volunteers. The holiday season alone we donated 300 complete computers to families. 1800 total donated items that were not only diverted from the landfill and waste streams but also saved natural resources because they were reused. We have new programs to offer a 3-day giveaway of re-useable parts and components. Completely free to the public with no financial requirements.

We are also excited to announce that we have established several new permanent sites for residents and businesses to drop off their electronics for reuse. These sites are open to anyone who has working or nonworking items that they would like to see go to someone who could use them. Any equipment we cannot reuse as working is put into our at-risk youth programs for hands on training to those youth who might not have a safe outlet for their skills and talents. These training programs are also offered free and by receiving your electronics and appliances, we are creating even more jobs and opportunities in our community while generating enough to keep our programs running.

There is a business to reusing electronics, but there is also a charity to it. Reducing our carbon footprint is important but so is helping to take care of those in need at the same time. By donating for reuse first and supporting programs that do reuse, you can know that someone who may never have had a computer at home now has a chance and we are saving the environment too.
WITS can be reached at 314-382-1650 or http://witsinc.org.

The Healthy Planet does not endorse any information contained in articles, advertisements or directory listings and we suggest consulting a health care professional before beginning any therapy or medical treatment.