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Milwaukie Community Center presentation will cover what to do with your old computers

The questions are many: Recycle it? Throw it away? Donate to a worthy organization?PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - Cables are recycled at Free Geek in Southeast PortlandWest Linn master recycler Terence Shumaker

Luckily, master recycler Terence Shumaker has some answers, which he will share from 5:30-7 p.m. on June 8 at the Milwaukie Community Center.

His presentation, Recycling: Learn the Do's and Don'ts, will include recycling tips and tricks and community resources.

Shumaker, who is co-chair of the West Linn Sustainability Advisory Board, has been a master recycler since 2016

"Our board works to advise the city in all things sustainable and resilient. Recycling issues are but one small piece of the sustainable pie we deal with," he said.

"All materials that we consume come from valuable resources, but so much of what we consume is thrown away as garbage," Shumaker said, noting that landfills occupy large spaces and are not a welcome neighbor, in addition to the methane gas they produce.

"If more of our resources are recycled then less methane is generated and less land is required for landfills," he said.PMG FILE PHOTO: ELLEN SPITALERI - Adelle Pomeroy, left, and Ingrid Dos Santos hope individuals will donate gently used laptops to Free Geek's programs.

"We recycle just a small percentage of what we consume, and unfortunately, between 10 and 15 percent of the materials we put in our curbside bins contains materials that contaminate the recyclables, and are sent to landfills," Shumaker said.

"Our first efforts should be less consumption, then repair and reuse of items. Recycling should be the last step," he added.

Options

Shumaker noted that there are other community resources available, that provide alternatives to throwing things away.

Organizations such as Community Warehouse and Habitat Restore often accept things like gently used furniture, blankets, pillows and household goods, and the Vietnam Veterans of America will also pick up similar items at your front door.

For electronics, "Free Geek is the best and most socially responsible option for these in Portland, although several other options exist," he said.

"Free Geek provides work for disadvantaged people, and functional computers are given to volunteers who work a certain number of hours. These folks most often cannot afford to purchase computers," he said.

He added that "Free Geek recycles all components of most electronic and electrical devices, and all of the companies that purchase the recyclable materials are vetted for their working conditions and where and how they recycle materials."

Curbside bins

During his presentation, Shumaker said he will try to cover what can be put in curbside bins and how it should be prepared.

He will also speak about those things that cannot be put in curbside bins and where they can go.

"I provide resources for disposing of just about anything that can be recycled. I also provide some tips for efficient recycling," he said.

Shumaker added, "I cover all kinds of plastics because these items cause the most confusion among consumers, and I bring a display of plastics that help clarify what plastics go where."

Tips and tricks!

What: Recycling: Learn the Do's and Don'ts

When: 5:30-7 p.m. on June 8

Where: North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District's Milwaukie Community Center, 5440 S.E. Kellogg Creek Drive

RSVP: Call 503-653-8100 to reserve a spot

Resources: For more information about Community Warehouse in Portland, visit communitywarehouse.org; for more information about Habitat Restore, visit habitatportlandme.org/restore; for more information about the Vietnam Veterans of America, visit vva.org/pickup-locations/Oregon; for more information about Free Geek, visit freegeek.org.


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