Recycling program nets computers for vets

Dozens of veterans in the Westchester area now have computer systems, thanks to the efforts of Lewisboro’s very active Sustainability Committee now working in connection with the New York City-based Envirolution.

“So far this year we have donated 42 complete computer systems,” said Bob Karpel, chairman of the committee. “In previous years, donations went to veterans organizations in Yonkers and New Rochelle. We are now partnering with Envirolution but will continue to distribute individually to any vet in need of a system.”

The program was originally spearheaded by Town Board member Dan Welsh eight years ago.

Karpel said Envirolution provides education, youth leadership, green jobs, and job training in the sustainability and environmental fields for veterans. The program was started by four Yale graduates.

“I’m an Air Force veteran myself and so appreciate the moms and kid that come door to door each year to every Lewisboro veteran with cookies and cards.”

Old made new again

According to Karpel, computer systems with older models are just fine for learning the skills necessary for entry-level jobs.

“There is no need for the latest and greatest,” he said. “And it is empowering for an applicant to say to a prospective employer they have a computer at home.”

What might otherwise be an expensive computer repair for a donated computer is made easier when parts can be quickly salvaged from other Lewisboro-donated computers.

Computers repaired for donation included many 1980s and 1990s PCs and laptops, along with keyboards, mice and monitors. Some Lewisboro residents donate computers that are in perfect working order. With all computers, the hard drives are changed out to make sure there is no remaining personal information.

Karpel said he was gratified with the success of the town’s recycling center. The center, located behind the Town House on Main Street in South Salem hamlet, is open every Saturday morning from 9 to noon and accepts all manner of electronic items. The center can accept paper/cardboard products, kitchen recyclables, toys, clothes and fabrics, and electronics, including computer systems, flat-screen TVs and flat-screen monitors and small items that have a cord.

The sustainability committee is highly energized, and other efforts include addressing environmental issues, educational and energy opportunities for residents, furthering greening efforts, proposing walking and biking pathways, options in garbage collections services, contribution to local legislation in related “green” areas, and coordination with larger allied organizations such as Sustainable Westchester.


Alejandro Alvarez of Envirolution moves some of the donated computers. — Bob Karpel photo

About author
Jane K. Dove is an independent journalist and publicist working in the tri-state area. A native of Chicago, she is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and honed her skills as a writer working as associate director of public affairs at New York Medical College. She has reported for the Ledger for three decades.

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