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These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on September 29, 1999. All rights reserved.
Clean Your Closets: Ditch That Computer
One fast way to get yourself ready for the Year 2000
is to upgrade your computer to one that is Y2K compliant. But don’t
put your outdated computer — or even your worn-out television
set — by the curb for the trash truck to collect. Instead, be
ecologically minded. Gather up all your old electronics and bring
them to the Dempster Fire Service Training Center, 350 Lawrence
Road (off of Quakerbridge Road), on Saturday, October 2, from 8 a.m.
to 2 p.m.
Eligible for disposal on this Computer Drop-Off day are television
sets and almost any piece of office equipment — monitors, CRTs,
CPUs, keyboards, terminals, modems, printers, copiers, cables,
telephone mainframe equipment, typewriters (electric or manual),
equipment, and mainframe controllers. Much of this equipment can be
considered hazardous waste.
You are eligible to use this drop-off if you have a small business,
are a resident of Mercer County, or represent an agency, a
or a school. "Newtech Recycling of Bridgewater will `back haul’
and de-manufacture all the electronic equipment," says Carol
Royal of the Trenton Waste Exchange, who has arranged this
opportunity with the Mercer County Freeholders. For information call
609-921-3393 (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Trenton Waste Exchange is a nonprofit donation broker and a virtual
warehouse, and Royal, the director, helps locate homes for unwanted
but usable surplus. This dropoff is for computers and equipment that
are outdated. If you have a late model to donate, Royal can probably
help you find a suitable nonprofit agency or school.
The New Jersey Association of Mental Health Agencies also accepts
usable 486 and Pentium computers (732-528-0900; fax, 732-528-0921).
It represents more than 125 nonprofit mental healthcare providers
in New Jersey. Director Debra Wentz says that NJAMHA will help
a donor select the appropriate agency, arrange for the equipment to
be picked up, have a maintenance checkup, and be delivered.
A national list of recyclers and reusers is available from Neil
Seldman at the Institute for Local Self Reliance in Washington
at 202-232-4108 (http://www.iosr.org). This agency’s $15 report
Into Electronics Re-Use" tells how to introduce community groups
or entrepreneurs to the recycling marketplace.
Another recycling possibility, as reported in the Wall Street Journal
on September 23, is to stage a computer throwing contest. PC
a mail-order retailer in New Hampshire, will sponsor a
for frustrated computer users on Saturday, October 16. Contestants
can enter the CPU hurl, the monitor shot put, or the keyboard slap
shot. Other races involve assembling or upgrading computers. The entry
fee: a working PC that can be upgraded and donated to a school —
Almost any equipment, if it is in good condition, can be used by a
nonprofit agency, says Royal. She will also help recycle the following
items: Adding machines, air conditioning units, art supplies,
battery chargers, brushes, calculators, clocks, forklifts, hand
kitchen equipment, ladders, lumber, microwave ovens, musical
paint, paneling, slide projectors, shelving, sound equipment, staple
supplies, tables, vehicles, vending machines, and video equipment,
Even the parts of outdated computers are valuable, says Royal. Old
computers can be shipped to recycling agencies in China that pay a
nickel per pound. The circuit boards, for instance, are ground up
and put into cement, made into pavers, and sold back to the United
States to be used for patio floors. Better to step on your
old 486 as a patio stone than to let it pollute the town landfill.
They call the 1970s the decade of the Me Generation,
when self-absorbed people tried to stake out their individual
It also represents the birth of the bar code, the pattern of lines
that can instantly identify an item and its price. The Uniform Code
Council Inc., based at Princeton Pike Corporate Center, celebrates
the silver anniversary of the Universal Product Code with a symposium
and reception at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of
American History on Thursday, September 30, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call
609-620-4531 for information (http://www.uc-council.org).
Quoting Dante, William Blake, and Jonathan Swift, the firm sent out
invitations to the event entitled "25 Years Behind Bars:
the Silver Anniversary of the Universal Product Code — Marking
the Past, Scanning the Future." The array of speakers includes
John Nelson of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Bob L. Martin
past president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s International division, David
K. Allison of the Smithsonian Institution, and keynoter Marvin
L. Mann, chairman emeritus of Lexmark International.
Perhaps the celebration is premature; bar codes might soon be old
technology. Hoping to encroach on the bar code market are companies
working on "smart cards" that can contain much more
than bar codes. With this innovation, library books can be checked
out automatically as borrowers walk through an archway, and the entire
history of the cow could be presented on the label of your T-bone.
Whether or not the UCC is dabbling in smart cards remains to be seen.
But it is indeed working in such innovative areas as space constrained
applications in supply chain management. With EAN International, the
UCC is figuring out how to tag loose fruits and vegetables, very small
items, and "variable measure" items, such as sacks of one
pound of walnuts and two pounds of peanuts. The supermarket checkout
clerk won’t have to know the difference between a Macintosh and a
If you’re the restless, independent type who doesn’t
like a supervisor hovering over your shoulder, here’s a job
Yes, truckers have gotten a bad rap in New Jersey, where many are
being forced off local roads, but new laws have made truckers’ jobs
safer and more enjoyable. Trucking companies are offering recruits
a chance at full tuition reimbursement, unheard of freedom, and
pay that beats just about any white-collar job, and in effect, they’re
breaking the mold of the rugged, loner truck-driver, says Eric
Smith, president of Smith & Solomon Truck Driving School.
"They come from just about every walk of life: office workers
bored with riding a desk, professionals and early retirees looking
for second careers, young people looking for a job with a future.
And women are entering the field in record numbers. Many are single
parents. Others are driver’s wives, their children grown and out of
the house, looking to team up with their husbands on long hauls and
see the country," says Smith.
Smith & Solomon is hosting a free trucking careers job fair on
October 2, at 10 a.m. at the school in Edison. Interested people can
talk to recruiters from companies such as Werner, Star, RPS, UPS,
Covenant, Boyd, H.O. Wolding, X-Cel, Gainey and Langer. For more
The U.S. Department of Labor calls trucking the sixth top job growth
occupation, so many companies are pre-hiring, with written job offers
to those who are still in training. Smith, whose grandfather was a
trucker, says the average person can be earning between $30,000 and
Most importantly, the road is no longer such a harsh place. New laws
keep truckers from driving more than 10 hours at a time, and many
cabs are air conditioned and have room for a TV and refrigerator.
Truckers also get good benefits and can set their own schedules. Short
haul drives can get them home every night, or for the long haul, they
can travel with their spouse. There’s also room for career growth,
says Smith. "The opportunity is there to advance into safety or
supervision, dispatcher, driver trainer, or owner of your own trucking
business," says Smith. A used truck runs about $30,000, he says.
Smith & Solomon courses take approximately four weeks and cost $3,300.
Road safety and travel planning are all covered in the course. Other
than a driver’s license, there’s only one prerequisite, says Smith:
"You have to have a little bit of a sense of freedom to enjoy
The New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police is looking for
for its sixteenth edition of the Police Chief Magazine. Proceeds from
the magazine, delivered to every corner of the state, will be used
to elevate the standards of policing, develop closer relationships
between police and the community, and provide additional training
to members of the police force. Call 609-452-0014.
Middlesex and Mercer were declared major disaster areas
on September 18 following Hurricane Floyd, and those hit the hardest
are eligible for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
New Jersey victims can apply for a wide range of state, federal and
voluntary disaster assistance programs by calling this toll-free
between 7 a.m. and midnight: 800-462-9029. Hearing and speech impaired
persons can call 800-462-7585.
Bristol-Myers Squibb donated $5 million toward
of a $62 million, 140,000 square-foot children’s hospital on the
of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The 70-bed hospital
will be called the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert
Wood Johnson University Hospital.
It will include the RWJUH’s internationally-renowned pediatric
the region’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Heart and
Kidney Transplantation Center, the state’s most comprehensive Child
Life Program, and the Level I Trauma Center. There are plans to add
beds for parents, a Family Resource Center with Internet Access, and
a Pediatric Radiology department. Call 732-937-8521.
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