Recycling in Highland County Part 2 – Shoes and Small Electronics


In Part 2 of Allegheny Mountain Radio’s story on recycling in Highland County, we’ll move from batteries to shoes and small electronics.

To begin, Diane Klein of the McDowell Presbyterian Church talks about another program that can transform shoes in to an independent life for some women.  She says, “Well, we collect other things, too.  We collect shoes for Kenya.  As I think you know, in Kenya, a lot of the men are dying of AIDS, and they leave their wives as widows, and once a woman is widowed and doesn’t have a man, she’s kicked out of the family compound with her children, and so she ends up on the street doing one thing or another, whether it’s begging or prostituting herself, whatever.  They have no background, no education to help them to know what to do, so we collect these shoes and call it ‘Shoes for Kenya’.  It’s a program – it’s way, way beyond just us, and we collect all kinds of old shoes, used, slippers, boots, children’s, men’s, women’s.  They are then collected at a central site, and shipped over to Kenya by this organization, and they run a place where the women can come and learn to repair shoes, and once they do that, they set them up in a little shop, and they earn money, which allows them to buy a plot of land and keeps them independent.  That’s also a very exciting program I think.”

McDowell Presbyterian Church also participates in a microloan program called Kiva to enable people around the world to create opportunity for themselves.  To learn more about “Shoes for Kenya” or Kiva, McDowell Presbyterian Church can be reached at 540-396-3450.

Moving on, if you’re looking to get rid of some outdated electronics, the Highland Telephone Cooperative on Route 220 north of Monterey can help.  HTC offers recycling of small electronics, such as computers, keyboards, hard drives, satellite box dishes, radios, printers, and some television sets.  Co-manager Gideon Hiner says that this free service has been offered for several years.  Once enough electronics are obtained at the facility, the items are picked up by a recycling company.  In April of this year, around 3,335 pounds of material were shipped out.  Individuals or businesses can drop off electronics for recycling at Highland Telephone Cooperative between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Mr. Hiner does recommend destroying any hard drives with sensitive information before delivering them to be recycled.  To learn more, folks can contact HTC at 540-468-2034.

If you know of other places in Highland County that offer recycling, we’d like to know for future stories to share with the community.  WVLS in Monterey can be reached at 540-468-1234.

Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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