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!– Princeton, business,
Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 9, 2000. All rights
Waste Not . . .
One of Trenton’s century old family businesses was sold
several years ago, leaving a five-story building on New York Avenue
empty and its owner, Robert Pierce
regrets. Now he has put his energy, his trucks, and his property into
service for a good cause: preserving the environment by keeping
products out of the waste stream.
Pierce’s property at 800 New York Avenue in Trenton is now the Trenton
Waste Exchange’s permanent drop-off site for used electronic equipment
and office furniture. Until now, Trenton Waste Exchange had been a
virtual warehouse, funded by a grant from the state department of
environmental protection to locate homes for unwanted but usable
Now its founder, Carol W. Royal
Well, almost her own. She rents it one day a week, Wednesdays. Any
corporation, small business, or resident of Mercer County can deliver
unwanted electronic equipment, office furniture, or just about
else, on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to 800 New York Avenue (just
off the Olden Avenue exit of Route 1 South). Any small business or
resident of Mercer County can also buy equipment on Wednesdays.
nevertheless, are preferred. Most items sell at 90 percent discount
— something worth $200 might sell for $20. For information call
609-921-3393 (Box 693, Trenton 08604-0693, fax, 609-924-6632).
Some pick-up is available. "We are picking up various types of
office equipment, bringing them into our building, and preparing them
for other organizations to use. It has been exciting," says
His family had owned a 121-truck moving company, Pierce Van Lines,
for 97 years, but when it came for him to retire, and he sold the
company, the sale didn’t work out. It’s a sore subject. "Some
of my employees had worked for us for 60 years," says Pierce.
Now, at age 75, he is renting two floors (so far) of his building
at a reduced rate to the Trenton Waste Exchange at a reduced rate.
The building has about 465,000 square feet, sits on almost two acres,
and could theoretically sell, he estimates, for $500,000 to $600,000.
Among the handy extras are a certified truck scale and five trucks
that Pierce — who still has his commercial driver’s and hazardous
materials licenses — can use for pickups.
American Cyanamid, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AAA, and Public Service
& Gas have been among the donors to send equipment by the truckload:
"This stuff is in amazing condition. Half of it has never been
used," says Pierce. "Carol shakes the bushes or something.
She gets not only just corporate equipment, but anything that would
be usable for needy families or for overseas. We try to not turn down
anything that is donated to us."
Royal is also partnering with Priscilla Hayes
the New Jersey Solid Waste Policy Group at Rutgers Cook College, to
help educate children on recycling computers, mercury switching
and fluorescent light bulbs. For now, the site can accept only
but for general information on the NJSWPG call 732-932-1966, extension
Good computers are rehabilitated and the rest recycled. Donors who
are not nonprofits pay a $5 fee for recycling a terminal, because
of its hazardous materials: "We put damaged computers on a skid
and shrink wrap it, and a recycling company uses salvageable parts
or smelts the stuff," he says.
Among the other items that Royal can recycle; Adding machines, air
conditioning units, and art supplies. Bicycles, battery chargers,
and brushes. Calculators, clocks, and computers. Envelopes and
hand trucks and hardware. Kitchen equipment. Ladders and lumber.
oven and musical instruments. Paint, paneling, pens, and slide
Shelving, sound equipment, and staple supplies. Tables and toys.
vending machines, and video equipment.
Other goals for the Trenton Waste Exchange:
furniture, and other equipment, so they can better use scarce dollars
for the needs of their clients.
out of the waste stream.
education and other human service programs.
public relations; and reduced waste removal costs.
"The response from the nonprofit community has been overwhelming.
They need everything," says Royal.
"It’s the old adage, somebody’s trash is somebody else’s
says Royal. "It’s a reawakening. Most people don’t care about
the environment, but more and more are caring."
Says Pierce: "I have adult children and I hope that their
won’t have to worry about whatever is polluting the environment."
New Jersey’s leading provider of cable television services,
has made a $5,000 donation to The New Jersey American Red Cross
Relief Fund for victims of Hurricane Floyd, which affected 9,000 state
residents. For each new customer in New Jersey who signed up for
Digital Cable for a recent three-week period, Comcast donated the
discounted installation fee of $5 to the Disaster Relief Fund. Call
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