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Plymouth Meeting Whole Foods Helps Residents Recycle

Local grocer helps community go green, just in time for new state law.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, residents in and around Plymouth Meeting will be able to recycle their electronics in a green, or environmentally safe, way.

Whole Foods Market Plymouth Meeting will host an E-Cycling Event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its location next to the Plymouth Meeting Mall, along Germantown Avenue in Plymouth Township.

"We have teamed up with E-Force Recycling for a free E-Cycle Collection event," said Amy Chidichimo, the location's marketing team leader.

Acceptable items include: computers, keyboards and mice, CRTs and monitors, modems and telephone boards, hard drives, floppy drives and CD ROMs, phones, fax machines and telecommunication hardware, printers, computer boards, CPUs, memory chips, circuit boards, connecting wires and cable TVs.

"Basically, we will accept anything with a plug," said Chidichimo.

She did ask that larger items not be sent in due to size limitations.

"Please, no oversized items (i.e. refrigerators, washing machines, etc)," said Chidichimo in a recent release.

Drop-off will be located in the side parking lot to the right of the Whole Foods store.

The e-cycling event is just in time for Pennsylvania's new electronic recylcing legislation. As of Jan. 24, residents of the state must properly dispose of their electronics.

"The Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act, enacted in 2010, requires that consumers cannot dispose of certain electronics devices in the trash, but that these items must instead be brought to a recycling operation," said a recent article on Examiner.com.

"Proper recycling is important because there are millions and millions of devices; they have a limited useful life span; and they contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury as well as other materials that do not belong in the normal trash stream," said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Krancer.

The Pennsylvania DEP worked with then-Gov. Ed Rendell in 2010 to ensure the law would help keep Pennsylvania land and water clean.

Chidichimo said this is Whole Food's third event with the E-Force Recycling crews.

"They are a wonderful organization based in South Philadelphia," she said. "All (communities' residents) are certainly welcome! The first time we held this event, we collected over 20,000 tons of electronic waste, and we are hoping to beat that record."

Chidichimo said the events align closely with the Whole Foods goal.

"We are a mission-driven company, and one of our core values is 'Caring about our communities and our environment,'" she said. "We are deeply committed to providing our customers with alternatives to just throwing trash (that could have otherwise been diverted) into landfills. It is difficult to know what to do with old electronic equipment, so we are hoping to make it easier for our customers."

She said by working with E-Force, the waste is also providing jobs and resources for the local economy.

"We also love working with E-Force Recycling," said Chidichimo. "They run a completely transparent operation out of their South Philadelphia headquarters, and they do not ship any of their e-waste oversees. It is all broken down right in Philly, and we are so proud to partner with an organization who 'talks the talk AND walks the walk.'"

County residents can also seek drop-off dates and locations on the Montgomery County Recycling homepage.

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