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Electronics donations pile up at Rotary Club event

HOULTON, Maine — For more than two years, Kerri Strong has “admittedly pestered” her husband about the amount of broken electronics sitting around their home.

“He is one of these people who loves to repurpose things and also try to fix electronics for other people,” she said on Saturday. “So it is not unusual for him to strip a computer of some parts in order to fix a hard drive for a friend.”

While she is happy that his work keeps his busy and brings in extra money, she said that she is “less than thrilled” with the amount of electronic waste it leaves around the house. That is why she was excited about the electronics waste recycling day that was held Saturday in Houlton.

Sponsored by the Houlton Rotary Club, business was brisk at the fourth annual event throughout the morning and early afternoon. Vehicles lined up in the pouring rain in the parking lot of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, waiting as volunteers checked out their donations and unloaded them into the correct piles free of charge.

More than 10 volunteers were on hand throughout the day on Saturday to assist visitors. Piles of cardboard boxes, microwaves, televisions, printers, laptop computers and monitors were packed atop the growing piles of electronic waste.

Marie Hagan of Sherman brought two old microwaves that she found in her attic on Saturday morning.

“This is so convenient,” she said. ‘I thought I would have to pay to take them to the dump.”

Kim Gordon attended the event to drop off two large computers that she estimated had been “sitting in her basement for the last two decades.”

The Houlton resident said that she considered it a “huge blessing” that the Rotary Club would take the items off her hands.

“Most electronics are really not as expensive as they used to be,” she said. “I remember a time when if your television broke, you went out and got someone to fix it immediately. Now, it is sometimes cheaper to go to the store and buy a new TV. That leaves a lot of electronics sitting around. It is not ideal, but it is reality. I am glad the Rotary Club does this.”

All proceeds from the event will go to the Rotary Club of Houlton and Aid For Kids projects.

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