Founded in 2002, in Searsport and Belfast, as the PCs for Maine computer access and literacy program and recently renamed ‘give IT. get IT.’, the organization has continued to provide businesses, nonprofits, and schools with sustainable electronics recycling practices as the only service of its kind in New England.
give IT. get IT. is certified to the R2 International Best Practices Standard, the highest industry standard for data security, environmental impact, compliance, and health safety in electronics reuse and recycling and has been recognized as the only third-party nonprofit program with this credential throughout New England. By removing e-waste, or electronic waste, from landfills and the environment, the company concentrates its efforts and recognizes the inherent value of reusable tech for community benefit via refurbishing computers for low-income families who need computers to achieve their educational and employment goals.
“At Sappi, sustainability encompasses the three elements of social, environmental and economic responsibility. However, sustainability is not about philanthropy or saving the planet at any cost, it’s about making responsible decisions in the context of running a profitable business,” articulates give IT. get IT. Board Chair and former Sappi Paper IT Service Center Manager Marty Duggan. “give IT. get IT. helps organizations be sustainable. Companies’ e-waste supports people in the community, helps the planet with responsible reuse and recycling, and reduces disposal costs with donations of reusable equipment.”
The improper handling of e-waste can lead to environmental pollution and injurious human health effects, with some scrap components containing chemicals such as lead, barium, and mercury. Considering the environmental impact of the issue, these chemicals have the potential to contribute to site disposal degradation and can leach into permeable surfaces such as lawns and porous asphalt. By employing recycling practices within the organization’s procedures, give IT. get IT. has processed 6.6 million pounds of electronics and diverted 1.7 million pounds of electronic refuse toward community betterment, refurbishing technology for general and educational uses.