RISE to the Occasion

The New Year always brings about an enthusiasm for doing the right thing – whether it be exercising more regularly, eating right, reading more or acquiring more sustainable habits! (At least I hope that made the cut!)

Given that lots of people I know received some kind of electronic device for Christmas this year, I’d like to encourage the concept of recycling the “old” stuff. And if you really want to be a green hero, spread the word to friends and neighbors and maybe even collect things from people at work.   Once you have “the stuff” what do you do with it? I have one answer for people here in Tucson but I know there are literally thousands of programs like this around the country. You can probably just google to find one that works for you.

Mrs. Green’s choice?  RISE Equipment Recycling Center. (http://riseequipmentrecycling.org/) The concept is simple. People take their unused electronic equipment ( computers, monitors, printers, telephones, TVs, and so on) to RISE. RISE either fixes it & resells it or breaks the equipment down and sells the materials to US-based companies. From their website: “Donating electronic equipment and electrical appliances to the ERC helps provide employment to area residents and supports a local non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the amount of hazardous materials going into local landfills.” Translation? They give people jobs and keep millions of pounds of electronic equipment from going into the landfill. Worried about what’s on your old computer? They follow Department of Defense standards for stripping whatever you donate. Is there a downside?

Quick little story. I planned a vocational visit to RISE for my Rotary Club. About 35 of us showed up early one Thursday morning and took the tour. To a person, they loved it. Since then at least two families I know of have had RISE come out to empty their garages. They had so much stuff, didn’t know what to do with it but didn’t feel comfortable just dumping it. (Phew…) It gets better. My one friend, Tom, makes copies of Ruben Vejar’s cards (he runs RISE) and gives them out to neighbors & friends at dinner parties. Rumor has it Tom is planning a RISE party for his neighborhood this spring so they can arrange a BIG haul to RISE. Talk about the pebble in the pond!

Here’s to a great year of reducing, reusing & recycling.