A unique event in Mount Airy next week offers local residents a chance to protect their identities while also recycling responsibly.
Scheduled on May 5, it will combine the shredding of personal documents with the acceptance of old computer components and other electronic items to allow them to be disposed of properly.
Those services will be free to the public, although cash donations will be accepted to support the work of Blue Ridge CareNet Counseling Center, a non-profit agency that provides aid regardless of one’s ability to pay.
The center sponsored a similar event last year, but it was limited to the document shredding. Officials decided to expand it this year with the acceptance of old electronics equipment and small appliances through a partnership with an entity known as Metech Recycling.
“They will take anything that has a plug, that you can carry,” explained Rebecca Keesler of Mount Airy, a member of the governing board of Blue Ridge CareNet Counseling Center. Large appliances such as refrigerators will not be accepted during the event to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot beside the center, between the Gondola’s restaurant and Homeway Furniture.
The site is on the corner of West Lebanon and North Main streets.
Sally Estes, the president of the counseling center’s board of directors, said the May 5 event represents a first for the local area.
“It’s never been done in Mount Airy that I know of,” Estes stated.
“This will allow folks to get rid of old computers with data on them in a safe way, as well as other electronics, working or not,” she added. “Personally, I have two broken VCRs that I plan to take as well as a computer and monitor.”
The service is offered to individuals and families, with no business materials to be accepted.
Personnel will be stationed in the parking lot to help unload items that are brought in, which also can include old television sets, printers, stereos and speakers, typewriters, copy machines, slide projectors and a long list of similar products.
Metech Recycling is to provide secure shredding of the data-containing devices that are dropped off and will recycle the various materials received for new manufacturing uses.
Meanwhile, the shredding of participants’ documents containing such personal information as account numbers, signatures, birth dates, passwords, personal identification numbers and other sensitive data will prevent them from reaching the wrong hands.
Items such as bank and credit card statements, medical records, tax documents and others tend to contain such details.
Keesler explained that while next week’s event represents a fund-raising opportunity for Blue Ridge CareNet Counseling Center, “it’s also a great community service.”
The counseling center is partnering with the national “Shred-It” program, which lends its expertise to efforts such as that planned here on May 5 as well as last year’s service that was limited to documents. This year, Metech Recycling was brought on board to handle the electronics segment of the take-back.
Blue Ridge CareNet Counseling Center will receive 50 percent of the proceeds from the upcoming event, during which donation sheets are to be provided for all contributions.
That funding largely will be used for client aid, since no one is turned away at the center “if they’re insured, or uninsured,” Keesler said.
Two counselors now work four days a week at the facility assisting persons with problems such as depression, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, sexual abuse, substance abuse, stress management and other conditions.
“We’re looking to get another counselor,” Keesler said Thursday.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.