Good News Project of Wausau, Wisconsin has been recycling electronics for over 8 years now. It has proven to be an incredible service to the community, and has been a large “means to an end” for the organization, as the dollars raised in this program play a vital role in funding their mission.
When the program first started, Good News Project would run ‘events’ every 6 to 8 weeks with the help of 12-16 volunteers. The two-day events were very successful during a time when large bulky items were being disposed of; state recycling laws were being made and people were becoming cognizant that electronics included harmful hazardous waste (solid and gas form) that was destructive to our environment. As the industry has shifted, so has Good News. Demand for a convenient service increased as did the need in more rural communities to have an outlet for their electronic waste.
Since that inspiration, Good News Project’s e-cycling program has increased tremendously, and this year the organization will collect over 250,000 lbs of electronics. We serve residents and businesses by safely and securely collecting electronics and then passing them on to an end recycler for final dismantling.
Reaching outside of the Wausau market has played a huge part in the success of this recycling effort. In addition to its weekly collections at the Wausau warehouse, Good News Project has added off-site collection events in neighboring communities. The key to the success of these events has been partnering with local non-profits in these communities. Why? They have already built trust with members of their own community. They have the database for advertising and outreach and they usually have access to a sound volunteer base. The partnership also becomes a great fundraiser and awareness event for the local nonprofit while bringing the expertise and friendliness of our Wausau nonprofit to other communities.
Good News Project ran its first partnered e-cycling event to the town of Merrill in 2007 and to Antigo in 2008. Both communities continue to show excellent nonprofit organizational support.
In the city of Antigo, Good News Project partners with the organization AVAIL. This non-profit advocates for victims of domestic and sexual abuse. In Merrill, Good News Project partners with the Kiwanis Club of Merrill.
Here is how these partnerships work: The local nonprofit takes care of all of the promotion of the event (with a tool kit in hand provided by Good News Project). Most people in the community of Antigo and Merrill know who AVAIL and Kiwanis are and want to get on board with an event that will benefit these organizations. The local partners also supply volunteers the weekend of the event to help in the collection of the electronics, which is held at the local fairgrounds. Good News Project has all the equipment and expertise to make these events happen. They also have the proper registration with the state to properly collect the electronics and the necessary relationships with registered end recyclers in Wisconsin who bring semi-trailers to the events to load the electronics.
One Antigo partner/volunteer commented, “I believe this has increased consumer awareness of the responsibility of the recycling of electronics. This was the only opportunity for residents of Antigo to recycle electronics in their own community without having to travel 45 minutes to Wausau to do the ‘responsible’ thing.”
Good News Project is looking to create partnerships in other communities in North Central Wisconsin. If the club, church or nonprofit that you are excited about is interested in a fundraiser that increases awareness of your organization, awareness of responsible electronic recycling and produce a chunk of cash to go toward your nonprofit work, we encourage you to contact us.
We call it a win-win-win. The consumer wins, as they have to responsibly recycle their electronics (it’s the law now)…so why not support two local non-profits? The local nonprofit partner and Good News Project win, as they split the proceeds of the event, which go towards funding their missions. Finally, the environment wins…so we all actually win, as the contaminants inside of these electronics are properly handled and recycled and do not end up in our landfills or drinking water.
The mission that the e-cycling helps fund is three-fold. Good News Project’s mission is to provide opportunities for short-term direct personal service; to deliver humanitarian supplies and support to the underprivileged in the West Indies; and to serve the communities of north-central Wisconsin.
Good News Project has a Health Equipment Lending Program (H.E.L.P. for short) that is a big part of our local focus. We loan out gently used health equipment to anyone in need in the local communities.
A big part of our international focus is building house for the poor in the West Indies. Good News Project seeks more carpenters to build homes for the needy in the West Indies in January and February 2014. If you feel called to lend your talent and time all the while learning to love your neighbors 2700 miles away, consider calling our office to see if this experience is an answer to that call. Good News Project relies on sponsorships of each home that is built. It costs only $4200 to put a roof over the head of a family and know you have made a significant difference in the lives of the next generation. 715-843-5985; www.goodnewswi.com; 1106 Fifth Street, Wausau WI 54403.
Good News Project, Inc
1106 Fifth Street
Wausau, WI 54403