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Program recycles cellphones to help keep Negaunee green

July 27, 2012
By JACKIE STARK - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - All too often with technology, as soon as consumers buy something, a newer, better version comes along, leaving plenty of people with out-dated electronics and no idea how to recycle them.

Cellphones are no exception to the technology rule, but members of Negaunee's Beautification Committee are doing their part to ensure old cellphones are properly recycled, and making some green happen in more ways than one in the process.

"We do not have a source of income. We are not funded through any city millage, so we have to raise our own funds, and recycling, which is helping the environment, and doing it for raising funds, fits well with what we're trying to do," said Negaunee Beautification Committee organizer Anna Mattson.

Article Photos

Jacob Studt, the grocery manager for Super One Foods in Negaunee, places the canister at the store that is being used to collect used cell phones. It’s a project of the Negaunee Beautification Committee to dispose of the used devices in an environmentally beneficial way. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)

The program, which is run in partnership with Negaunee's Department of Public Works, offers drop boxes in several Negaunee businesses for people's used cellphones. The phones will be collected through the end of September when the Negaunee DPW will gather up the phones and take them to a recycling center in lower Michigan.

The cellphones can be dropped off at one of the following businesses: Superior Iron Range Credit Union, The Midtown Bakery and Cafe, Negaunee City Hall, Negaunee Senior Center, the U.S. Highway 41 Range Bank and Super One in Negaunee.

"It's a way for people wondering what to do with a used cellphone, well, you can donate it to us," Mattson said. "It's something we plan to continue ... We hope to do this again next year.

"We're looking to partner with businesses who would donate (cellphones) to us," Mattson added. "We can even pick them up, if they are businesses that have a recycling bin and they'd like us to pick them up."

The money made from the cellphone recycling program will be used to continue the Negaunee Beautification Committee's mission to help keep the parks of Negaunee looking great.

"We're trying to raise funds for future park projects, such as benches, more ore carts, those are some of our future goals," Mattson said, adding the 22-member committee is always looking for volunteers.

Mattson said while most people think of the committee as a group of gardeners, she said there are plenty of other ways to volunteer.

"We have opportunities for people, such as contributing plants they want to donate, being our photographer, being an events coordinator, we just did a float in the Negaunee parade," Mattson said. "Members have opportunities to do other things, if they do not want to garden."

Anyone interested in joining the committee or making a donation can contact Mattson at (906) 362-8160.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.



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