Computer recycler opens

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AVON – Maine’s first licensed computer recycler is now open for business, so companies now have a place in state to unload them.

“We take computers and take them apart,” Likeable Recyclables President Bill Tanner said Thursday. If they’re good, the machines are wiped clean of any hidden information and resold. But usually, Tanner said, they’re taken apart and sold or disposed of in pieces.

Or will be soon, now that the company is on its feet.

Likeable Recyclables is still in its infancy, Tanner said, seated at a big table inside Avon’s Opportunity Center, the company’s new home.

Opportunity Center board members began discussing possible uses for the 20,000-square-foot former factory years ago, Michelle Tanner said. The aim was to find a use for it that would employ local people in a sustainable way.

Most of the industrial jobs that were once standbys in Maine have disappeared, Bill Tanner said. Jobs doing logging or working at a paper mill are getting harder and harder to come by. But with a little training and a new perspective, it might be possible to revitalize the Western Mountains’ economy with technology.

“The goal is to get more people tech-minded,” he said. “To change the standard.”

Going into the electronics-recycling business seemed a smart move for people on both sides of the equation. By law, computer owners must recycle their machines, and businesses have to use licensed companies. With no licensed electronics recycling outfit in the state, local companies are usually paying more – and sending their dollars out of the state – than they will with Likeable Recyclables, Bill Tanner said.

The company will pick up computers wherever businesses want them to, and will offer special promotional deals often, he said.

Getting set up has been a regionwide collaboration spearheaded by local businesses and nonprofit organizations like Camden National Bank, the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, and Pathway Partners, Tanner said.

With a current employee roster of two, Tanner and his wife, Michelle, plus a consultant, and with permitting kinks still being worked out, the company is still in the start-up phase.

But the Tanners foresee Likeable Recyclables as being a dynamic place to work and learn in the years to come. They’ll offer employees perks such as adult learning opportunities and in-house yoga, and promote an interactive, unstuffy environment where people can speak their minds and have fun.

In return, they’ll be looking for open-minded people who are ready to learn and want to work hard, when they start hiring, Tanner said.

For more information, phone 207-491-4250. The company’s fax number is 207-639-2187.

The company Web site, www. likeablerecyclables.com, should be up and running within the next week or so.

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