WATERVILLE, ME – Two separate components of Maine’s electronics recycling and reuse ecosystem have combined to form a cohesive one-stop-shop for recycling and reuse of technology.
The Information Technology Exchange (ITE – Belfast) has been providing the PCs for Maine technology access and digital literacy program since 2002. Last year, ITE acquired the eWaste Alternatives (Waterville), Maine’s only certified data destruction and electronics recycling service and the two efforts have merged as give IT. get IT.
The rebrand reflects give IT. get IT.’s role in completing the cycle of electronics recycling and reuse. Companies like IDEXX Laboratories, Sappi and Bangor Savings Bank ‘give IT’ by having their retired technology collected, all data is identified and destroyed to the highest standards, and the non-reusable material is recycled to international best practices.
The reusable technology is then refurbished to create a high quality, low or no cost source of computers, training and support for nonprofits, disadvantaged individuals and families who need to ‘get IT’ to achieve literacy, health, wellness, employment and educational goals. The term used to describe this mission is called Digital Inclusion.
For over 15 years, Bangor Savings Bank has trusted eWaste Alternatives to protect its customers.
“It’s a perfect fit for us because it starts with providing secure destruction of data on our retired
technology assets,” explains Scott Blake, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at
Bangor Savings Bank. “The white-glove service ensures that all this is accomplished with
minimal impact on our associates at a lower cost than any viable alternative.”
To date, this system has received and processed more than 6 million pounds of retired corporate technology, diverting 1.7 million pounds of that ‘waste’ to personal computer access for more than 40,000 people throughout Maine and New England.
“When the Bingham Union Library received a refurbished computer from PCs for Maine, we observed an increase not only in library visits but also in circulation of books and other materials,” explains Rachel Tremblay, librarian at Bingham Union Library. “Though the computers are sometimes used for recreation by students, at the same time, the students are learning how to use the equipment, how to search for information, and they are learning what other resources the library offers. Moreover, when they wait for computer time, they read books and do homework.”
This consolidation of mission, services, and resources yields a significant increase in capacity and organizational sustainability and the new organization is now the only one of its kind in the Northeast US. “We can now double the amount of retired corporate tech we receive and the number of crucial tools we provide people with to achieve their educational, career and personal goals,” explains co-founder Chris Martin. “The new model is already showing a significant increase in positive impact for the populations we serve, our corporate partners, our environment, and ultimately Maine’s future.”
For organizations that can ‘give IT’ or people who need to ‘get IT’, please visit www.giveitgetit.org.