ISD Protects Nature From Computers

ISD Protects Nature

From Computers

Oneonta Tech Firm Honored With

Otsego Chamber Environment Award

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Bins full of discarded computer equipment to be recycled bear witness to the company’s sense of responsibility, says partner Roxana Hurlburt. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

ONEONTA – Information Systems Divisions Inc. isn’t just the place to get a new computer or get your company’s IT needs taken care of.

It’s also a steward of the environment.

“Since 2011, we’ve recycled more than 84,000 pound of electronic waste,” said Roxana Hurlburt, who, with Ron Ranc II, founded the company in 1989. “And we do it for free.”

It was this commitment to the environment that earned ISD Tech the Environmental Stewardship Award from the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, to be presented at its annual Summer Soiree on Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Clark Sports Center.

“We live in a beautiful area,” said Hurlburt. “You don’t want to drive down country roads and see old computers just dumped out there.”

In 2015, the state mandated that electronics could no longer be disposed of in landfills or through curbside trash pick-up.

But ISD was recycling even before that, partnering with EWaste+ in Syracuse. Recycling electronic waste, keeps toxic chemicals contained in computers, including lead, mercury and cadmium, from leaking into soil and groundwater.

“We live in a disposable society,” said Hurlburt. “It’s cheaper to buy a new printer than to fix one. It used to be you could give the computer to your little brother or the church, but they’re outdated by the time you finish with them.”

Computers towers, laptops and printers can all be recycled, free of charge, through ISD. Monitors can be recycled for a small fee.

Roxana Hurlburt in front of ISD headquarters at 98 Chestnut St., Oneonta.

“We had an older man come in with what I’m pretty sure was his first computer!” she said. “We get some really ancient stuff.”

On the most recent haul, the bins provided by EWaste+ were filled to capacity. “We had stuff on the floor,” she said. “They couldn’t even take it all.”

And ISD’s commitment to computer security doesn’t end when the computer no longer works. “We destroy the hard drives before we recycle them,” she said. “We want to prevent anyone’s information from getting out there.”

Some of that destruction involves technology, sometimes good old-fashioned strength. “Sometimes, the techs will come out and smash it with a hammer,” she said.

ISD also partners with Opportunities for Otsego to become a drop-off point for cell-phone recycling.

Hurlburt herself proposed ISD for the Chamber award. “I saw the guidelines and I thought, ‘This is exactly what we do!’ We want to get it out there in the community that we offer this service – and it’s free.”

In addition to the recycling, ISD is active promoting local not-for-profits in the community, organizations like Family Service Association and the Oneonta YMCA. “We pick a Website of the Month and do a display in the kiosk at the Southside Mall,” she said. “It helps everybody.”

Hurlburt has also been president of the Foothills board, and serves on the Hospice boards. “It’s always been important for us to give back,” she said.

Drop-offs can be done any time during open hours, but Hurlburt advised that anyone with a large load to recycle call ahead first, (607) 432-7090.

“We pride ourselves on our customer service,” she said. “When you deal locally, you have to. It’s our name, they’re our customers and we take care of them.”


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