“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.” (Ecclesiastes 1:4)


Windham Hill United Church of Christ and E-Waste of Maine are having another electronic-waste disposal drive for the general public this month.

The church and the company have joined forces to hold the events at least once a year since 2009.

Christian churches abide by an ideology of hoping to create a better world through ministry to others, to care for and meet the needs of humanity through outreach and missions.

But some churches are also taking seriously the Bible’s directive to “give careful thought to your ways” (Haggai 1:4-9) toward the Earth itself, the ultimate house God gave us: The “new earth that I make will endure before me, so will your name and descendants endure” (Isaiah 66:22).

Regardless of religious imperative, however, we are increasingly coming to the realization that this endurance of the Earth for the future will depend heavily on our efforts to reduce waste, reuse resources, and recycle products that clutter our 21st-century lives.

One area of waste that is growing, yet difficult to dispose of, is that of electronics and new technology — cellphones, computers, TVs, VCRs and more. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 20 percent of electronic waste gets recycled, a figure far too low for comfort, given the rate at which these products — sometimes containing toxic material — are entering the waste stream.

The four projects spearheaded by Windham Hill United Church of Christ have netted approximately 2,980 items, a total of 62.4 tons of waste.

Judy Eycleshymer, a church trustee and primary organizer of the events, said this amount equals about eight tractor-trailer truckloads.

In addition to having an affordable way to dispose of their electronics and help save the planet, people may make monetary donations to the church.

E-Waste of Maine networks with various nonprofits throughout the state to, as Eycleshymer said, “do the organizing — finding a location, getting the personnel, advertising locally.”

E-Waste of Maine then separates the material into separate piles, such as heavy metals, glass and plastic, which get recycled and reused.

E-waste products include TVs, computer monitors, CPUs, cellphones, VCRs and stereo equipment.

People may not dispose of most household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, fans, or kitchen products.

Microwaves are acceptable, but no products with freon or radioactive elements.

The next event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 22 at the Windham Mall.

For more information, call Eycleshymer at 893-0994.

When we invest effort into cleaning up the Earth, protecting it for future generations by making conscious decisions to reduce, reuse and recycle, we add a fourth R — “renew.”

Creating a cleaner Earth helps to “create a clean heart and renew a right spirit” (Psalm 51:10) within ourselves.

And that’s worth more than we can ever calculate in dollars and tonnage.

Anita S. Charles, Ph.D., is a member of Windham Hill United Church of Christ.


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