DANVILLE – A new nonprofit organization is offering people a way to celebrate America Recycles Day by inviting residents in a six-county area to drop off computers, electronics and other items for recycling.
Angela Haas, president of Web Innovations & Technology Services Inc. at 1507 N. Bowman Ave., Danville, said the collection will serve as the inaugural event for her organization.
"So people will know what we can recycle and not to throw away," Haas said.
In addition to WITS, the two-day event, which begins at 8 a.m. Friday, is being sponsored by the Vermilion County Recycling Program and Best Buy.
America Recycles Day is Thursday. In its 10th year, the nationally recognized day is intended to encourage Americans to recycle and buy recycled products.
Haas started her organization in St. Louis and has opened a new location in Danville on Bowman Avenue.
The WITS mission is not only to keep items out of landfills, but also to refurbish computer equipment and donate it to needy people who don't have computers. The items that can't be refurbished are recycled at the local WITS facility.
Haas said recipients of some of the refurbished computers will be working the two-day event, and more volunteers are needed, regardless of if they need a computer. Haas said anyone interested in volunteering should call WITS at 442-9487.
Lynn Wolgamot, Vermilion County Recycling coordinator, said the regional event is open to all residents, schools and businesses in the Illiana region, including Vermilion, Edgar and Iroquois counties in Illinois and Terre Haute and surrounding counties in Indiana.
"WITS is new to our community, and the local partnerships mean a lot of material can be recycled during the two-day event," Wolgamot said in a news release announcing the event.
Haas said there's a minimal charge for televisions, monitors and appliances, because harmful chemicals must be removed and that increases the organization's costs to recycle those items.
"We're a nonprofit organization, so we just have to cover some of our costs," said Haas, who added that everything is tax deductible, and tax letters will be given to those dropping off items.
Haas had a similar collection event in St. Louis recently, and the turnout was the largest ever, with 1,230 cars dropping off items that filled 12 semitrailers.
This collection will be the first in this area for Haas, so she's unsure what to expect but hopes to fill at least four semitrailers.
Once the event is over, WITS will be accepting the same types of items on a regular basis at the Bowman Avenue location five days a week and two Saturdays each month, Haas said.
"This is a way for people to see where we are, what we do and how they can bring us materials," she said.