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NextStep Recycling

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Job Training, Philanthropy, Public Foundations, Recycling, Vocational Rehabilitation

Mission: Bridge the digital divide. Educate the public on the value of reusing materials and the importance of proper recycling techniques. Protect the environment by diverting hazardous materials from the landfill. Reduce manufacturers dependency on raw materials.

Programs: Environmental education programs: community outreach and education promoting electronic waste reduction, reuse and recycling. Provides job skill training to disenfranchised individuals by training them to disassemble and sort recyclables, refurbish electronics and learn skills in a public and retail environment.

human services programs: computer/electronic reuse & distribution program - provides free or low cost computers and hardware to underserved populations, schools, and nonprofit organizations. One computer reuse retail location provides access to purchase low cost reused and recyled electronics, internet ready computers, cell phones and other technology for low income and disenfranchised populations. All computers for sale in the reuse retail location and those placed within the community have been refurbished by volunteers and trainees.

recycling programs: computer hardware and electronic materials unable to be repaired/reused are dismantled and recycled using environmentally sound practices and regional vendors. We provide individuals and businesses a convenient opportunity to recycle hard to recycle electronic waste, thus diverting hazardous waste from the environment and recycling it into a valuable resource. We also divert from the landfill paper, plastic, vinyl and cardboard.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I had volunteered there 4 years ago. And they where rude. All they did not care about the volunteers all they cared about is getting the computers out. The employees that work there then an know do not care about the volunteers. Just to let you all know that I am a disabled person & I was kicked out there store this year. They do not care. But I wont people to know what they have done. So they do not do it to others. Hopefully they wake up and start respecting people that come into there store, people that volunteer there has well.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i used to think that computers were almost magical. What makes them work is beyond me and out of my control. I was at the mercy of faceless huge companies. I have learned how to overcome the 'untouchable' nature of computers that kept me powerless. I take apart old computers and recycle the pieces.

Previous Stories
8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have helped with information booths- setting up, talking with the public, and shutting down. I loved being able to answer peoples questions and get feedback from them. I loved seeing people get excited about what they could do with their old e-waste! They people I worked with were always friendly and always seemed to want to help me with questions that I could not answer, or find out who knew the answer. I have worked in the warehouse tearing down computers for recycling and re-using parts. The feeling of personal accomplishment was tremendous! I got better very quickly. The combination of professionalism and friendlyness was wonderful. Any time I had a question, I felt that no matter how busy they were, there was time for me.

Kassandra K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began as a volunteer at NextStep Recycling to gain some recent work experience , and to brush up on some job skills that I haven't used in a while. While volunteering I learned that there is so much more to this company than I realized! Not only have I been educated on e-waste and ways to keep our earth healthier but I have been brought into a community of people who really care about what NextStep does and are proud to be a part of it. I am now an employee at NextStep and really have gained a "working family" as well as a job! NextStep gave me an opportunity to show them what I can do, and even prove to myself what I can do as well. Since starting as a volunteer I have been educated in e-waste, recycling, reuse options, and what other services NextStep provides to our community; I have completed enough volunteer hours to get a working knowledge of the dismantling and recycling process, and earn myself a computer of my own (built by a NextStep "techy"; I have been given the opportunity for a chance at full time employment with a growing company; and, last but not least, I have been given training and experience that will help me throughout the rest of my life in the "job world". NextStep has given me a chance to continue forward in my life, I hope that others get the chance to check this nonprofit out and see what NextStep can do for them as well!

Isbel

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been affiliated with NextStep since 1999. During that time I have watched hundreds of community members change their lives as a result of being part of this amazing organization. David (names changed, of course), a wonderful man with fairly significant disabilities, who gained confidence and experience that allowed him to find full time employment. Rick, who travels through life in a motorized wheelchair due to severe CP, who worked at NextStep countless hours to procure computers for himself and his family members. Angie, who came here on TANFF, no confidence whatsoever--and now works as a computer technician. I could go on and on. NextStep is a community of caring and committed folks who go the extra mile for each other.

Previous Stories
7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for NextStep since the very beginnings, in 1999. What a place! Amazing. Everyone who comes for a tour is completely blown away. Wonderful staff, committed volunteers, incomparable results. NextStep keeps Lane County's ewaste out of the waste streams all the while giving people jobs, providing job and social skills training, and a "home" for some of Lane County's most marginalized members. Absolutely incredible.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered long-distance from Southern California starting in 2003. I did eBay sales for Nextstep of old Macintosh items. I really liked the work, and Lorraine and Mike Day were fun and engaging people. My love of old computers, particularly Macintosh computers, pulled me like a magnet to Oregon in 2005 where I volunteered for many months refurbishing PCs and Macs for the cause. I loved the place, the work and the friendships I made while there. There is nowhere to be found another place like Nextstep. My memories of my time volunteering are pleasant ones. Although the work was hard and challenging, I never met any other vocation that made me feel as happy as when in the build area refurbishing computers. I lived my dream and loved my work. The days went by like hours, hours passed like moments. Thanks to Lorraine, I got to do what I'd always loved. I'm grateful there's a Nextstep Recycling.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a person who worked for and with NextStep since 2004, I can say that Lorraine Kerwood (the founder and Director) has worked tirelessly to keep as much e-waste as possible out of landfills and into the proper channels. NextStep is one of a very few operations who do the work that most would not choose to do. It can be dirty, grimy work but it needs doing. So, I will do what I can to keep Nextstep and it's mission thriving and expanding.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an intern with Nextstep and continue to benefit from my experience even though I am not actively working at this time. I learned how to greet customers with a smile even when I was uncomfortable. I was given flexibility to learn at my own pace yet encouraged to try new technology and retail tasks in the reuse store. I applied as a volunteer because I believe in basic concept of think global act local. Nextstep is the best example of helping a person discover how to give to their community while rediscovering themselves! The more I was taught to reuse and rethink the value of materials the same lessons applied to learning my persnal value.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to volunteer at NextStep shortly after I took a tour of the facility given Lorraine Kerwood, the executive director. I was in a class of 'Master Recyclers' and the tour was a part of our course. I realized, people like Lorraine, and organizations like NextStep are what are going to help change the self-destructive path we're all on, and get the world sorted out to a point where everything WORKS, where efficiency, and sustainability save people money, and improve people's lives.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at NextStep and love it. I get to talk to people about all the great things everyone does at the shop. I help out in the recycling room and I get to go to events. I like protecting our community from the bad stuff in electronics. NextStep doesn't throw anything out. If they can't fix it, it goes to a recycler a few hours away. NextStep makes sure everyone gets a chance.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Next Step has helped me recycle ina friendlier way! They are always able to help out the community in need! Like sending computers to other countries, now that is amazing!!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've a volunteer staff member since 2003 doing a variety of tasks from labor to board support to software programming to hazardous materials consulting. NextStep Recycling is unequivocally one of the few truly win-win-win organizations. Volunteers win with job skills learned, donors win by giving unused electronics and purchasing refurbished goods, and the community wins by reducing waste and adding valuable skills to the community workforce.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer at NextStep since 2006 and enjoyed every minute of it. Lorraine Kerwood is an inspiring presence and I've been infected by her enthusiasm. My labors there satisfy my goal to give back to the community and reduce the tons going to the landfill. I'm primarily a computer rebuilder, but I get many projects where I can invent solutions. It's what I'd be doing in my garage except I get to work with many wonderful people and feel good about it.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love NextStep! They provide such a valuable service to the community and have fun doing it. Dropping off donations couldn't be easier, the staff is always friendly, plus no charge like at the landfills! The events that they do always turn out to be fun and informative. Volunteering there is a blast, so many fun people to work with. You also get discounts on computers when you volunteer for them, plus valuable job skills!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's so great to have a place where I know my electronics will get a new lease on life or will at least be disposed of responsibly. The volunteers are knowledgeable and passionate about their work; the staff is, too. And I love shopping there, too -- I can get items which will fulfill my need without breaking the bank and without filling up the landfill!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for NextStep since 2003 and have watched it grow into a dynamic organization that uses the best skills of everyone who volunteers and works there. Many people of all skill and needs have been given work skills training and encouragement there. They also give computers to those who can't afford them to help them bridge the digital divide and become an integral part of the community. I don't have anything but praise for their people and their programs.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Board member I have seenNextStep Recycling expand tremendously in the last several years. This organization, which receives donations of obsolete electronics, including computer hardware, (desktop computers, laptops, handheld games, cell phones, etc), household electronics (clocks, radios, lamps, etc), white (microwaves, stoves, dryers, etc.) and brown (stereos, VCRs, DVD players, etc.); also has a great training program. Volunteers in the recycling warehouse receive education on the inner workings of computers and other electronic hardware as they participate in the dismantling program. Volunteers can also learn how to rebuild computers in the refurbishing program. After a certain period of training, volunteers receive a computer to complete their education process. NextStep gifts computers directly to: children and adults living in foster care, persons experiencing disabilities, family members leaving domestically violent relationships, migrant worker families, under-funded schools and nonprofits.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I participated in the job training program. I learned how to refurbish computers, test printers, and identify a variety of electronics hardware. I learned alot. All the staff are super friendly and respectful. I liked the training so much I am still volunteering.