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Helpers Among Us — WHS seniors collecting E-waste

High school seniors have so little time on their hands, and yet two Winchester High School students invented a way to keep useless computers, cell phones, electronic cables and other electronic waste out of landfills.

Winchester High School Leo Arone, left, and Marcus Nara are collecting useless e-waste to help keep the materials out of landfills. COURTESY PHOTO/MARCUS NARA

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High school seniors have so little time on their hands, and yet two Winchester High School students invented a way to keep useless computers, cell phones, electronic cables and other electronic waste out of landfills.

Marcus Nara and Leo Arone are go-getters, and Marcus knew his friend Leo would be willing to help with the idea he came up with. 

“I often go to Tufts Library to study and I noticed some student-run e-waste collection bins,” he said. “I’m a PC enthusiast and I collect computers.The Transfer Station charges for e-waste disposal, so this would be a way to benefit residents as well as help the environment.”

Marcus Nara shows off a small collection bin of e-waste. COURTESY PHOTO/MARCUS NARA

Marcus called Leo in July and they started in August. 

“We’ve already gotten nearly 800 pounds of stuff and our next goal is to get 1,000 pounds,” he said. 

Leo, an Eagle Scout, is a like-minded collector. 

“My basement is full off computer stuff,” he said. “And we know some batteries are dangerous to dispose of, and getting rid of hard drives is risky” 

They contacted both the Winchester and Woburn public libraries and their directors readily agreed to have bins in the libraries for visitors to drop off small items. For bigger items, the students will pick up if residents contact them through their website:  https://www.winchestertewi.com/

When asked how sustainable their effort will be once they go off to college, Marcus said, “We’re looking for future leaders. There are plenty of kids like us in the Environmental Club. We’re hoping to scale up.”

What constitutes e-waste? Cords, batteries, old laptops, chargers and other items. COURTESY PHOTO/MARCUS NARA

Leo added they’ve already gotten approval to start an official club, the Zero Waste Club. 

“Our advisor, Miss Duke, was our first donor!” said Leo. 

They take their e-waste to PC Survivors, a non-profit in Hanover, which takes the e-waste for free. They destroy hard drives and take out the heavy metal chips. 

“We’re always looking for new locations for our bins,” said Leo. “As of now, we’ll pick up anywhere nearby, including Medford.”

Leo Arone is used to putting his skills to work to rescue the environment. This kiosk, his Eagle Scout project, provides information on the Town Forest. COURTESY PHOTO/MARCUS NARA

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