AUGUSTA — Old, weathered console TVs, microwaves ovens with bent corners, computer monitors and towers, laptops and all matter of other electronic devices will help heat some home this winter.

The used electronic items were dropped off Saturday at a collection site in the Augusta Civic Center parking lot, and most of the grateful former owners also dropped a donation in the bucket for the United Way of Kennebec Valley.

All donations were headed for the agency’s fuel assistance program and for the community warming center, which will on the ground floor of the Augusta Masonic Bodies building, accessed through Front Street.

By midafternoon, one trailer had been hauled off from the civic center parking lot and several pallets of items were wrapped in heavy clear plastic, awaiting a forklift ride onto a second trailer.

The traffic was steady for much of the day and the donation buckets had $2,800 before 2 p.m.

“Most people donate,” said Rob Gordon, executive director of the United Way. “They’re appreciative of the project and glad to have an opportunity to get rid of stuff that’s been sitting around.”

Tim Bonenfant, of Oakland, drove up with a few older model televisions in the back of his vehicle.

“This is a good way to recycle them, and I don’t have to worry about going to the transfer station,” he said.

Other people brought newer electronics for recycling.

“It’s the first time I’m seeing the flat screen televisions (here),” Gordon said. “I haven’t even bought one yet, and they’re being recycled.”

The nonprofit agency conducts the electronics collection several times a year in partnership with e-Waste Recycling Solutions of Auburn.

A half dozen workers from the recycling firm helped carry the items and build the stacks on pallets.

The stacks of microwaves all were cordless.

“We clip the cords because the cords have their own processing,” said Patrick Collins, one of the workers.

The first collection several years ago netted the most money — $4,200, Gordon said — but the others have brought in steady money.

The warming center in Augusta will run this year in the same location as last year, and the lead staffer will be Rob Shore, who was a social worker with Bread of Life Ministries prior to his retirement.

The center is being run by the United Way of Kennebec Valley and Green Street Methodist Church, whose adult education program has adopted it as their project.

Gordon said the warming center will be open to all from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. seven days a week from Jan. 2 to March 31.

“The idea is nobody should be cold or alone during the darkest days of the year,” Gordon said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]


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