Chad Spade wraps used printer cartridges for shipment. Recycling ink cartridges helps protect the environment and generates funds for the Clinton County AIDS Project.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University alumnus Chad Spade has raised over $800 for The AIDS Project in Clinton County. Spade, a Pennsylvania Campus Compact/VISTA national service volunteer who serves the university full-time, has been running a printer cartridge recycling program since the fall of 2009. The program focuses on the Lock Haven University main campus, but also extends to local schools, county offices, and a few other organizations in the area.Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
Spade has been working through an online recycling program called Empties4cash.com. “The idea,” he said, “is to help the environment by keeping cartridges out of landfills and also raise money for non-profit organizations.” Empties4cash pays a certain amount per cartridge, ranging from five cents to four dollars. The program provides free supplies, such as posters to advertise the cartridge recycling program, boxes to collect the cartridges, and free shipping.
“They make it really very simple to recycle the cartridges and raise money for an organization” says Spade. However, Empties4cash collects only the small ink cartridges. So Spade recycles used toner cartridges through a program run by Staples. Staples gives three dollars per cartridge in rewards dollars, which can be used in any of their stores. The Clinton County AIDS Project uses these rewards dollars to purchase office supplies for the project office. “This helps to alleviate their budget by saving them money they would normally spend on supplies and allows them to apply that money to providing more outreach services,” said Spade.
In 2009, Spade met The AIDS Project Coordinator, Patti Smith, at Collaborative Board, which is a local meeting of community service organizations in Clinton County. The AIDS Project is a non-profit organization which provides free confidential and anonymous HIV testing at the university and throughout the county, offers protective tools and educational materials, and provides up-to-date prevention presentations at LHU and the community. The AIDS Project provides case management to those infected and affected with HIV/AIDS.
At their meeting, Smith told Spade that The AIDS Project budget, already lean, had been cut because of the recent economic crisis and cuts in state and federal funding. Spade wanted to assist in their financial crisis, so he researched and found the Empties4cash fundraising program. This program was perfect for a college campus, because there were many used cartridges that were being tossed in the garbage. Spade placed the green boxes provided by the company in 10 buildings on campus, usually around the recycling areas. He also partnered with the Residence Hall Association (RHA) to help with collecting cartridges in the dorms. During the past year, over 1000 ink and toner cartridges have been collected and recycled. “The university community has been extremely supportive of this project and I could not have accomplished this without the support of the faculty and staff,” said Spade. “They have been extremely dedicated to the project.”
Rebecca Schrope, Executive Director of The AIDS Project, said, “When we have used our allotment of government monies, the money collected helps provide services for clients such as transportation to dental and medical appointments, and non-HIV prevention drugs and their co-pays. It is also used for protection tools, materials, and prevention presentations both on campus and in the community.”
Smith said, “The AIDS Project is so very appreciative for the efforts put forth by Spade and the university. “We are not always as visible in the community as many other nonprofits, so when someone such as Spade come forth to help, we, along with our clients, are touched.” Smith added, “With 1 in 4 teens having a sexually transmitted infection, it is more important than ever to get prevention information out there.”
Spade, a 2009 graduate of Lock Haven University, is going into his second year as an Americorps/VISTA volunteer at Lock Haven University’s MountainServe Center for Global Citizenship. His future plans are to attend either law school for international law, or graduate school to teach geography at the college level. For the coming year, however, he will focus his energies on his work with the MountainServe Center. And, of course, he will continue the cartridge recycling program to benefit The AIDS Project.
For more information on The AIDS Project or to make a tax deductable contribution, please contact Patti Smith at 570-893-1740, firstname.lastname@example.org or check out The AIDS Project website: www.theaidsproject.com