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Ditch that old e-waste; it’s for a good cause

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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Gold Country Rotary Club’s Jo Barragan is hoping to triple the number of items in this year’s e-waste collection drive being held Saturday, March 26, in Auburn. The club’s second annual fundraiser provides a drop-off point for computers (with monitor, keyboard, and mouse), printers, copiers, scanners, fax machines, PDAs, zip drives, phones, TVs, VCRs, stereos and other office equipment. “One of the best things is people don’t have to pay anything to get rid of (those items),” Barragan said. “It’s for a good cause and helps us raise funds to do the things we like to do around the community.” The Rotarians are partnering with CEAR (California Electronic Asset Recovery), a state-approved company that has a security-monitored facility, she said. In addition to collecting, storing and seeing to the recycling of the items, CEAR also shreds hard drives. Still, it’s a good idea to erase information from computer drives and other equipment prior to drop-off, Barragan added. Funds raised will go toward Gold Country Rotary’s numerous community endeavors. “This is a great opportunity for businesses to get rid of old and obsolete equipment while helping Gold Country Rotary feed the homeless, provide college scholarships, send kids to leadership camp, and much more,” publicity spokeswoman Lynne Tinel said in a press release. For last year’s drive, nine club volunteers were at the site to unload the items as they were delivered, take inventory and then place it all into the CEAR bins. An important part of the process is ensuring that all items meet the criteria for recycling. Items that aren’t accepted include hazardous waste and large appliances. In preparation for the collection day, CEAR will have a training session for volunteers Thursday. “The CEAR rep will meet us at the site to give us instructions on how to receive the donations, how to log them, how to stack them, what to take and what not to take,” Barragan said. In preparation for the event, Barragan, who is a real estate agent with Sierra Brokers, is working to get the word out to the community. “I’ve done Craigslist to announce that if anyone has any thing to give, we can pick it up,” she said. “I’ve put flyers in (various publications). I’ve also done a video-e-mail to everyone in the club so they can send it on to everyone they know, with an attachment of the flier they can print out and put in their local businesses.” Rotarian Jimmy Mullenix, CEO of The Master Technicians in Auburn, was in charge of the e-waste fundraiser last year and credits CEAR’s long experience in the recycling business with helping make the event a success. “They’re pretty well schooled on this by now,” he said. “CEAR does this often in Auburn.” Volunteers had to turn back very few items. “One fellow even came with paint,” Mullenix said. “That’s about as far from e-waste as you can get.” Mullenix will be working at this year’s collection and said he enjoys being involved because, “it’s for a good cause and it all stays right here in the community,” he said. Among the recipients of the fundraiser will be the club’s adopted school, Rock Creek Elementary, and the Auburn Boys & Girls Club. For Mullenix, it’s an opportunity to help the community. “It’s one of the reasons I joined (Rotary),” Mullenix said. “It is a community and international club. Just being able to give back to the community is the best thing. And when we give our scholarships and stuff, just the look on the kids’ faces is priceless.” Reach Gloria Young at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com. ----------- Gold Country Rotary E-Waste Drive When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 26 (rain or shine) Where: TJ Enterprises, 12405 Locksley Lane, Auburn