“We’ve probably got about 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of electronics,” said Paul Kehoe of Comprenew Environmental, a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit company that recycles electronics. Other items were being loaded into the back of a van and an appliance truck.
The line of people dropping off old printers, televisions, copy machines and even an old tube radio came through the parking lot at 516 S. Ferry St. in a steady stream, said Joan Groenhout, the recycle coordinator for the church.
Old appliances and other pieces of scrap metal were also gathered and shoved into a huge dumpster bin. The metal is then taken by Louis Padnos Iron & Metal of Holland, Groenhout said.
The recycling program started three years ago as a fundraiser, Groenhout said.
“We needed a fundraiser to fix the boiler in the church,” she said. Now, volunteers still collect scrap metal throughout the year to raise funds for the church’s youth group mission trips, she said.
“In three years, we’ve recycled 500,000 pounds in metal,” she said.
Aside from providing a service to the community, the recycling project is also a way to take care of the environment, Groenhout said.
“It kind of turned into a ‘win-win’ no matter how we looked at it,” she said.
Last year, community members brought in more than 60,000 pounds of electronics and metal, Groenhout said.
“It’s interesting to hear what people have to say, because they don’t want to throw things in the landfill and don’t know what to do with it,” she said. “They’ll take advantage and recycle it if there’s an easy way to do it.”
The recycling collection continues today from 9 a.m. until noon.
Anyone dropping off TVs or appliances that contain refrigerant must pay a $10 fee. This is what the appliance recyclers charge the church to make sure the lead in the TVs and the refrigerant in the appliances are properly disposed of, Groenhout said.
For more information about bringing scrap metal to the church throughout the year, call 842-6370.