It’s a time-honored tradition with a twist.
Along with the usual fundraising activities at Ponoka Youth Centre (PYC), there is a profitable way to make money that benefits the environment as well. PYC is tackling the growing problem of electronic waste and literally turning it into cash.
PYC is participating in the Think Recycle program that gathers old print cartridges, cell phones and now even digital cameras in the community and exchanges them for money. Greentec, the company behind Think Recycle, then collects, processes and recycles the cartridges, cell phones, and digital cameras diverting the electronic waste from local landfill sites.
“Our usual fundraising activities are great, but the Think Recycle program directly protects the environment, “says Sheila McArthur, PYC recycling co-ordinator. “This way we can stop filling up our landfills with electronic waste and fundraise at the same time.”
More than 300 million empty printer cartridges are generated in North America every year, or 900 million pounds of waste that can potentially end up in a landfill. The Think Recycle program has been responsible for the diversion of more than one million cartridges from landfills and has provided nearly $3 million in funding to its participants. More than 20,000 schools in North America participate in the Think Recycle program.
In addition to giving money for these used printer cartridges, cell phones, and digital cameras, Greentec also donates one tree to either the Tree Canada, or American Forests for every 24 qualifying cell phones, cartridges, and digital cameras that PYC returns. The Think Recycle program has paid for the planting of more than 50,000 trees, effectively removing 8700 tones of carbon from the atmosphere.
“With Think Recycle, not only are you helping Ponoka Youth Centre raise money for our various programs but you get to directly protect the environment and do a good thing,” says McArthur.
You can drop off old cell phones, digital cameras, and printer cartridges at the Ponoka Youth Centre building, 5004 54 Street or contact Sheila McArthur at 403-783-3112 to arrange for a convenient time, or for pick up.