Beginning in June, Community Helping Hands began collecting and recycling  electronics on an ongoing basis. The organization, located at the Gateway Center (31 Water Street), runs a thrift store and furniture showroom that is open to the public, but also provides emergency help for low-income families in need of clothing, household items and furniture. The recycling was a natural extension of their ministry. “People often donate used electronics and appliances that we cannot sell or give away,” said Executive Director Rev. Amy Rohler, “and we didn’t want to put them in the landfill, contributing to the problem of e-waste.”  Thus, the partnership with Sunnking Electronics began. Sunnking is the first electronics recycler in New York State to achieve an EPA R2 certification. They are committed to responsible electronics recycling, do not send electronic waste overseas, and use reuse and recycling techniques that promote environmental sustainability. They recycle 97% of all the materials that come through their facility. Community Helping Hands serves as a collection site for such materials, and Sunnking picks them up each month.  Both organizations benefit.

According to Sunnking, the problem of electronic scrap has proliferated in the last decade. The U.S. dumps between 300 million and 400 million electronic items per year, and although “e-scrap” represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, it equals nearly 70% overall of toxic waste. In 2007, over 112,000 computers were discarded in a single day. The numbers continue to increase.

Community Helping Hands is currently taking all unwanted, outdated and even broken electronics, and these may be dropped off during their hours of operation: Tuesday through Friday, 10-4 and Saturday, 10-12. Electronics include TVs, computer monitors, towers, fax machines, copiers, printers, radios, typewriters, all kitchen appliances, and many more. Please drive around to the back of the building to overhead Door 4. For more information, please call (716) 487-1488 or visit www.chhny.org.