Monday, July 6, 2009

Faith 7, GO Computers team up to help environment

Sustainable Shawnee's very own, Chris Geer and Chris Odneal, in the news....

Workers at the Faith 7 Activity Center have benefited the local community in a number of ways in the 33 years since the center opened, but recently, their contributions have widened their reach to include benefits to the global community.

"At least 90 percent of what our workers do is recycle, reuse," Rick Gowin, Faith 7 director, said. "Ten percent is putting washers and nuts on bolts for Fastenal," a Shawnee company. In March, the recycle, reuse percentage gained an e-waste boost after Chris Geer and Chris Odneal, co-owners of GO Computer Systems, spoke with Gowin and others about how the two entities could help one another and help the environment at the same time.

"My grandfather was a processor of e-waste and tried to get me involved," Geer said. "As an individual, I wasn't into it. But we get volume and with volume comes opportunity. We mentioned that taking apart the hardware we receive was something Faith 7 workers could do." Geer and Odneal receive many used computers, parts and accessories in their line of work and understand that several components of those items are reusable in some way. "Reusing has a lot more gain than recycling," Geer said. "There's just a lot of things that can be reused."

After joining Sustainable Shawnee during a membership drive, Go Computers helped set up a program with Faith 7 where the center collects most of the e-materials, disassembles and sorts the various parts and sells them. "We started with about 40 computers from McLoud to recycle," Gowin said. "We separated what we wanted our workers to do and they stepped up and took to it right away." Geer said the Faith 7 workers contribute a lot to the environmental efforts. "Faith 7 does the majority," Geer said.

After the donation from McLoud, Kickapoo Indian Health Center donated a 40-foot trailer full of computers, printers, and more, Gowin said. "The workers tore it down in about a week," Gowin said. "They really enjoy it and all the money stays with Faith 7." In addition to the benefits seen by those who need a place to discard this type of item and the benefits seen by workers, the environment also profits. "It's a win-win for everybody," Gowin said. "Most of the parts are sellable and we sell the pieces once we have enough and use it to pay the workers for their work. Some are able to do so many they can make more than minimum wage. We don't need to make money, if we can break even, we're doing good."

For information regarding donations accepted by Faith 7, call Christina Knight at 275-4223, or visit 301 S. Kennedy. Faith 7 business hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For information regarding donations accepted by GO Computers, call 214-6090 or visit 6 W. Main.

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