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Arsenal, Vantage Credit Unions Help Make a Difference in Communities

Credit unions better their communities in a number of ways. Just recently, Arsenal Credit Union (Arnold, MO) hosted several recycling events that were open to the public and Vantage Credit Union (Bridgeton, MO) helped make two students dream big with new computers. 

Arsenal Credit Union Hosts Environmentally Friendly Events, Recycles 29.3 Tons of Waste

Not only does Arsenal hold paper shred events in the spring like a number of other credit unions do, it also does them in late summer. Sandwiched in between, Arsenal also hosts electronics recycling events, which no other credit union in Missouri is known to do.

A total of seven paper shred events were held at the credit union’s branches this year – three in September and four in April. An astounding 42,550 pounds of paper was collected overall, with shredding done on site by American Document Destruction, a local business that is AAA certified by the National Association for Information Destruction. The recycling was provided free of charge to members, residents and small businesses in the area, with no limits on the number of boxes or bags of paper that could be brought in.

          Arsenal Credit Union recycling efforts. 

“These events help people protect their identity and the environment at the same time,” said Ken Moser, vice president of marketing at Arsenal. “As anyone who has ever owned a personal shredder knows, it can be very time consuming and monotonous to sit there and shred a stack of papers. People who participate in our events appreciate being able to have their sensitive documents shredded safely and securely in seconds at no charge.”

Every ton of paper recovered for recycling saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, plus reduces energy and greenhouse gas emissions, according to Keep America Beautiful, a leading nonprofit organization that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities.

Electronic waste is another environmental concern that Arsenal tackles with organized events. On June 11, the credit union held electronics recycling events at two of its branches, working with MRC Recycling, a local business that is an R2-certified electronics and appliance recycler.

“These green events make it easy for people to get rid of e-waste,” said Moser. “If they’re dropping off computers, the recycling company also takes care of erasing data on hard drives so it can’t be retrieved by anyone else. It’s another way for us to help members protect their identity.”

Besides computer monitors, hard drives and printers, e-waste includes other obsolete, broken and unwanted electronic equipment such as televisions, VCRs, DVD players, MP3 players, microwaves, etc. When items like this are sent to the landfill rather than being safely recycled, it can contaminate groundwater with toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and cadmium, which leads to health issues such as brain and kidney damage.

Electronic products also are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics and glass. As noted by the Environmental Protection Agency, “Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves our natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials.”

As a result of Arsenal’s efforts this year, 16,163 pounds of e-waste was collected. All items were recycled free of charge with the exception of Cathode Ray Tube (CRT/old tube-style) TVs, wood console TVs and big-screen/projection TVs due to environmental management regulations. A CRT monitor contains between four and eight pounds of lead alone, the Electronics TakeBack Coalition reports. Big-screen tube TVs contain even more than that. According to ETBC, about 40 percent of heavy metals in landfills comes from electronic equipment discards.

Arsenal will continue to offer paper shredding and electronics recycling events in 2017. The events are open to the public.

Vantage Credit Union Announces Two $1,000 Dream Big Contest Winners

   Ben Shepherd, Dream Big  
    Contest Winner
Nathanial Marsters (center) shows off his new iPad Pro - thanks to Vantage Credit Union

Ben Shepherd, of Sunset Hills, and Nathanial Marsters, of Frontenac, were each awarded $1,000 towards the purchase of a new computer for their entries in Vantage Credit Union's third Dream Big contest. The two teens were randomly drawn from 27 eligible entries in the contest that ended September 2, 2016.

In order to qualify, members ages 11-17 submitted an entry sharing their dreams for the future with the credit union. Entries included personal essays, unique artwork and other creative items.

"Our goal with this contest was to encourage young people to explore their options after graduating," said Community Engagement Manager, Rachel Parrent. "With technology being such a large part of education, we know the prizes will definitely be put to good use and hopefully help these students reach their goals." 

Shepherd, who one day would like to be a sports analyst, chose a Dell 17’ laptop and accessories. 

“I was shocked and excited to learn I won,” said Shepherd. “I’m thrilled to own my own computer for school, entertainment, and to prepare for my future.”

Marsters, who hopes to one day be an officer for the United States Air Force Academy, chose an iPad Pro.

“I can’t believe it,” said Marsters. “Thank you so much for doing this. I know it will help me to achieve my dream.”

Vantage Credit Union congratulates both Ben and Nathanial and wishes them well in their future endeavors.