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'E-cycling' to fund Clairton honor students' activities

| Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, 3:56 a.m.
National Honor Society members, from left, JaLynn Sanders, Zach Loera and Ivy Meacham gather old electronics for a recycling fundraiser at Clairton Education Center.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
National Honor Society members, from left, JaLynn Sanders, Zach Loera and Ivy Meacham gather old electronics for a recycling fundraiser at Clairton Education Center.

National Honor Society members are collecting old electronic devices to raise funds for their programs at Clairton High School.

Faculty sponsors Alexis Trubiani and Jen Wardropper said they want Clairton students to have the best opportunities, and fundraising helps to make that possible.

“This is a great senior class,” Trubiani said. “They were freshmen during my first year as an NHS sponsor. They hold a special place in my heart, because they were my first inducted class.”

The “e-cycling” will generate funds for the school's honor students to take their first field trip in three years and to celebrate their academic achievements with a winter banquet.

Organized through Pittsburgh-based Orro, “e-cycling” fundraisers encourage students, parents and the community to support local schools and organizations while making a positive impact on the environment. Orro describes itself as a free, eco-friendly movement.

“We want to help Clairton by raising money in order to help defray the mounting costs that an organization can incur,” Orro community outreach director Darryl Grandy said. “We want to help provide a safe, secure method to get rid of items that are taking up valuable space in your homes, and we want to help the environment by keeping potentially harmful materials out of the garbage and, ultimately, our landfills and our water supply.”

As per Orro's slogan — “whether they work or not, we'll take them” — students are collecting old cellphones, laptop computers, flat-screen televisions and monitors, DVDs, VHS movies, video games and MP3 players.

“These are things that might be sitting around in someone's home collecting dust,” senior Ivy Meacham said.

The items are taken to a South Side facility where they are reprocessed through a network of secondary buyers, recyclers and scrap specialists. It maximizes value and generates more revenue for the National Honor Society, Grandy said. The money comes back to the school within weeks of the collection.

“This is a great way to raise money, because people have a lot of junk lying around that they just don't need,” senior JaLynn Sanders said.

Donors shouldn't worry about personal information getting into the wrong hands, Grandy said. Orro works with certified specialists who erase all remaining data from donated items to help thwart identity theft.

Orro facilitates collection of all electronics except those containing cathode-ray tubes, which are a primary component of older TVs and computer monitors.

Anything that is not a flat-screen will not be accepted. Organizers suggest that items that cannot be discarded via weekly garbage collection be saved for special municipal collections or disposed of through Best Buy stores.

Items can be dropped off at Clairton Education Center during school hours. If donors are unable to transport their own items, pickup can be arranged by calling Trubiani at 412-290-4423.

About 250 tickets to Pirates games were distributed to students who brought items during the first few weeks of school. Any student who participates through Sept. 25 will be entered in a drawing for a football autographed by Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

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