Community

Auburn's Lakeland Hills Elementary kicks off Electronics Recycling Drive

It's a time honored tradition with a twist.

Along with its usual fundraising activities, Lakeland Hills Elementary explores a new and profitable way to make money that benefits the environment.

Lakeland Hills tackles the growing problem of electronic waste and literally turning it into cash with an Electronics Recycling Drive from Oct. 1-30.

The school is participating in the Think Recycle program, which gathers unwanted cell phones, laptops, Mp3s and digital cameras from the community and exchanges them for money. Greentec, the company behind Think Recycle, then processes and recycles the products, diverting the electronic waste from entering local landfill sites.

"Our usual fundraising activities are great, but the Think Recycle program directly protects the environment," said Polly Fitzgerald, rebates coordinator. "This way, we can stop filling up our landfills with electronic waste and fundraise at the same time."

More than 900,000,000 pounds of waste that can potentially end up in a landfill has been diverted by Think Recycle. The program has provided nearly $3 million in funding to its participants. More than 20,000 schools in North America participate in the Think Recycle program, said Tony Perrotta, president of Greentec.

In addition to giving money for unwanted cell phones, laptops, Mp3s and digital cameras, Think Recycle donates money to have one tree planted, through American Forests, for every 24 qualifying products collected by Lakeland Hills Elementary. The Think Recycle program has paid for the planting of more than 50,000 trees, effectively removing 8,700 tons of carbon from the atmosphere.

"With Think Recycle, not only are you helping LHE raise money for Math & Reading Incentives, but you get to directly protect the environment and do a good thing," Fitzgerald said.

The public can drop off unwanted cell phones, laptops, Mp3s and digital cameras at the Lakeland Hills Starbucks, 1408 Lake Tapps Drive SE, Suite E101, Auburn, or arrange pickup by contacting Fitzgerald at lherebates@gmail.com or 253-335-9935.

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