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November 09, 2005

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Getting rid of gadgets Getting rid of gadgets (November 09, 2005)

Environmental organizations sponsor recycling event Friday

by Suman Mudamula

Palo Altans will have a chance to recycle unwanted electronic items while learning about challenges of environmental issues Friday at the "High-Tech Harvest," an event sponsored by environmental organizations Acterra and GreenCitizen.

Laptops, LCDs, plasma displays, computer CRT or monitors, cell phones, printer cartridges, CDs, DVDs, and batteries will be recycled free, so long as the item was purchased in California. Fees of $1 to $15 will be charged for other high-tech gadgets. No household items, such as irons and blenders, will be accepted.

The nonprofit Acterra provides hands-on opportunities for people to get involved in habitat restoration and other ways of creating a healthy natural environment. GreenCitizen opened this year to help people recycle high-tech products responsibly.

This year alone, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 45 million units of discarded electronics will enter the waste stream across America, said Glenn Fajardo, a manager at GreenCitizen. A major chunk of electronics are coming from manufacturers, he added.

"And not everything is getting recycled the right way. Most of the toxic waste is getting dumped in developing countries in Asia and Africa," Fajardo said.

The purpose of Friday's event is "to remind people to do the right thing with electronics, so that we protect our natural resources. It is time to remember where our food and water come from," said Marci Reichelstein, GreenCitizen's vice-president of marketing.

Safe disposal of toxic waste is crucial, she said, and GreenCitizen partners with "the safest recyclers who meet strict environmental standards," she said.

The free event, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will have live music and refreshments.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for families to do something interesting on a Friday evening," Reichelstein said. "Parents can set a role model. They can encourage their kids to look around the house and find electronic stuff for recycling," she added.

The event will feature the Magic Planet from Global Imagination, a sphere-shaped digital display that shows global phenomena such as the effects of pollution on the environment, the results of burning off the Amazon rainforest and changes in weather due to El Nino.

Attendees are invited to participate in GreenCitizen's Toxic Offload Challenge, which will award prizes to those who divert the most lead from landfills by recycling their electronics through GreenCitizen. Ten percent of the proceeds earned at Friday's event will be donated to Acterra.

The High Tech Harvest will take place at GreenCitizen, 3180 Park Blvd., Palo Alto (behind Palo Alto Fry's electronics) on Friday, Nov. 11, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free. Visit www.greencitizen.com for a complete list of fees for recyclables items. For event information, email Joanna Holmes at joanna@bloodsridge.com.

E-mail Suman Mudamula at smudamula@paweekly.com.


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