The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

January 27, 2013

Phyllis Bandstra | Reducing/reusing/recycling through Goodwill – it works

JOHNSTOWN — Since its founding in 1962, Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley  Inc. has been a champion of reducing/reusing/recycling, rather than disposing of, unused and unwanted household items, clothing and electronics. And it all starts with your donations.  

    First, when you donate items that you no longer need to Goodwill, rather than putting them in the trash, you reduce our grossly overpopulated landfills and protect our waste streams.

    Second, when you donate to Goodwill, you give someone else the opportunity to reuse your items.  

    And third, when you donate to Goodwill, you create the opportunity for recycling items, in whole or in part.

And while your donations enable you do your part in this critically important practice of reducing/reusing/recycling, there’s another critically important role that you play: You create job opportunities for people with barriers to employment.

Our services assist dislocated workers, individuals with disadvantages and disabilities, youth and other job seekers to obtain jobs in the community, our retail stores and our donation centers.

You give people dignity.     

We direct revenues from our stores into education, training, career services, counseling and other needed community programs operated by our agency. And we make donating convenient. We accept donations at 14 locations in six counties   – our 10 Goodwill stores/donation centers, two attended donation trucks and two free-standing donation centers, which are all listed on our website at www/gicv.org.

And with the final provision of 2010 Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act that became law on Jan. 24, banning the disposal of a host of electronic devices, I would like to tell readers about the donations and recycling policies of GICV.

The items affected by this new law include computers, laptop computers, computer monitors, computer peripherals such as printers, keyboards and mouses, and televisions with viewable screens larger than 4 inches.

Through our partnership with a computer company, we accept donations of computers and equipment and send them to the company, which refurbishes the computers or recycles them responsibly. The company ensures that its partners will wipe clear any data on hard drives. But we ask donors to first “back-up” any valuable information and erase sensitive personal data from the hard drive.

The company provides proceeds from the donations to us to help support our mission. Computer-related donations that we receive in good-working order, such as monitors, printers and peripherals, are sold in our stores; the same goes for electronics. Electronics in nonworking order will be recycled.

So you see, reducing/reusing/recycling through your donations to Goodwill is a win-win for people with barriers to employment, as well as the environment.

And through these actions, a fourth “R” will result: Renew.

Thank you for your continued support.

Phyllis J. Bandstra is president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley Inc.

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