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Niagara County leaders team to fight identity theft

by jmaloni
Fri, Sep 2nd 2011 10:00 pm
Pictured from left: City of Lockport Mayor Mike Tucker, North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ortt, Randy Coons of Certified Document Destruction & Recycling Inc., State Sen. George Maziarz, Sunnking President and CEO Duane Beckett and Niagara County Legislator Wm. Keith McNall.
Pictured from left: City of Lockport Mayor Mike Tucker, North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ortt, Randy Coons of Certified Document Destruction & Recycling Inc., State Sen. George Maziarz, Sunnking President and CEO Duane Beckett and Niagara County Legislator Wm. Keith McNall.
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Story and photo by Joshua Maloni

Identity theft is a well-known problem for individuals. The Federal Trade Commission states upwards of 9 million personal identities are stolen each year in the U.S. and used to fraudulently purchase goods and services.

The fear of identity theft is just as big a problem for businesses, which spend thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars each year in storage fees, document shredding and electronics recycling costs.

This reality doesn't sit well with Niagara County officials, who are now taking steps to safeguard their communities and offset the cost of properly destroying personal records.

Two "Protect Your Identity Days" will be held in September. Residents and businesses can take advantage of free, on-site information elimination on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the North Tonawanda Department of Public Works, and on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the GM Components Holdings parking lot in Lockport.

"Every day you hear about some new form of identity theft and peoples' identity being stolen," said North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ortt. "We want to protect our residents' identities and make sure that they're taken care of and that they're not at risk.

"Also, from a business standpoint, the businesses that are involved - that really are the largest taxpayers in North Tonawanda and across Niagara County - this is a great opportunity for them to come out and avoid what would normally be a significant cost to destroy this information. They're going to get it done for nothing."

The Niagara County Refuse Disposal District will oversee the two days, and utilize the services of Sunnking Electronics Recycling of Brockport and Certified Document Destruction and Recycling of Rochester to obliterate the dropped-off goods.

"People will be able to come here and actually see their material being shredded - through the paper shredding - and know full well that the material that's off-site shredded, which would be the computers, that that material, those hard drives, the questions that they have about 'what happens to my data?', that material also is shredded," said Sunnking President and CEO Duane Beckett. His company was the first in New York to receive a third-party "R2," or "responsible recycler," designation.

State Sen. George Maziarz, who is co-sponsoring the identity protection events with Mayor Ortt, said Sunnking is unlike other recycling units.

"Sunnking does something that very few companies do. They will recycle 100 percent of the product," he said.

"These days would not be possible without Sunnking," Maziarz added. "They're an excellent company. (The product) doesn't end up, like so many other companies, in a Dumpster on its way to China or India."

"Protect Your Identity Days" was the brainchild of Refuse Disposal District Director Richard P. Pope. He said his office received several requests from both residents and businesses.

"We thought it would be nice to provide this service," Pope said, adding, "It's groundbreaking in its design."

Indeed, no other Western New York county has provided this type of service. Niagara County is not only a recycling standout locally, but statewide. An April 2010 identity protection event netted a state record 125,000 pounds of materials. That figure included 75,000 pounds of documents.

"It was a lot of paper," Pope said, laughing. "A lot of businesses have a need for this."

At the event, Pope said residents, essentially, drive-through and drop off their goods. Businesses, on the other hand, deliver items (by appointment) in everything from a pick-up truck to an 18-wheeler.

"We have two separate lines," Pope said, noting it takes about 7 minutes maximum for each resident and between 15 and 20 minutes for each business.

"It's a very well-organized event," he said.

In addition to the personal and professional safeguards, Niagara County 16th District Legislator Wm. Keith McNall said the program is "the right step in moving forward with the environment." Sunnking reports 80 percent of the toxic waste in landfills originates from electronic scrap - the fastest growing waste stream in the U.S.

City of Lockport Mayor Mike Tucker said his municipality is moving forward with a full, curbside recycling program in the next several months.

"This will go hand-in-hand with what we're doing," he said. "We're taking recycling to the next level. This is an exciting time for us."

The Village of Lewiston is also in line for a permanent recycling structure.

Pope said he appreciates the support his program has received from local officials.

"It's been wonderful to have the elected leadership see the importance of helping not only the residents but the businesses in this tough economic time," he said.

"This is a great event, right here in Niagara County," McNall said.

"These are important days," Maziarz said. "People can get rid of stuff that's in their attics, in their basement."

"My wife already has three bags of just phone chargers that are obsolete," he joked. Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000172 EndHTML:0000016889 StartFragment:0000009379 EndFragment:0000016853 SourceURL:file:///Volumes/NFP%20STUFF/Batch%20S/T.S.%209.2.11.doc

County leaders team to fight identity theft

Story and photo by Joshua Maloni

Identity theft is a well-known problem for individuals. The Federal Trade Commission states upwards of 9 million personal identities are stolen each year in the U.S. and used to fraudulently purchase goods and services.

The fear of identity theft is just as big a problem for businesses, which spend thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars each year in storage fees, document shredding and electronics recycling costs.

This reality doesn't sit well with Niagara County officials, who are now taking steps to safeguard their communities and offset the cost of properly destroying personal records.

Two "Protect Your Identity Days" will be held in September. Residents and businesses can take advantage of free, on-site information elimination on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the North Tonawanda Department of Public Works, and on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the GM Components Holdings parking lot in Lockport.

"Every day you hear about some new form of identity theft and peoples' identity being stolen," said North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ortt. "We want to protect our residents' identities and make sure that they're taken care of and that they're not at risk.

"Also, from a business standpoint, the businesses that are involved - that really are the largest taxpayers in North Tonawanda and across Niagara County - this is a great opportunity for them to come out and avoid what would normally be a significant cost to destroy this information. They're going to get it done for nothing."

The Niagara County Refuse Disposal District will oversee the two days, and utilize the services of Sunnking Electronics Recycling of Brockport and Certified Document Destruction and Recycling of Rochester to obliterate the dropped-off goods.

"People will be able to come here and actually see their material being shredded - through the paper shredding - and know full well that the material that's off-site shredded, which would be the computers, that that material, those hard drives, the questions that they have about 'what happens to my data?', that material also is shredded," said Sunnking President and CEO Duane Beckett. His company was the first in New York to receive a third-party "R2," or "responsible recycler," designation.

State Sen. George Maziarz, who is co-sponsoring the identity protection events with Mayor Ortt, said Sunnking is unlike other recycling units.

"Sunnking does something that very few companies do. They will recycle 100 percent of the product," he said.

"These days would not be possible without Sunnking," Maziarz added. "They're an excellent company. (The product) doesn't end up, like so many other companies, in a Dumpster on its way to China or India."

"Protect Your Identity Days" was the brainchild of Refuse Disposal District Director Richard P. Pope. He said his office received several requests from both residents and businesses.

"We thought it would be nice to provide this service," Pope said, adding, "It's groundbreaking in its design."

Indeed, no other Western New York county has provided this type of service. Niagara County is not only a recycling standout locally, but statewide. An April 2010 identity protection event netted a state record 125,000 pounds of materials. That figure included 75,000 pounds of documents.

"It was a lot of paper," Pope said, laughing. "A lot of businesses have a need for this."

At the event, Pope said residents, essentially, drive-through and drop off their goods. Businesses, on the other hand, deliver items (by appointment) in everything from a pick-up truck to an 18-wheeler.

"We have two separate lines," Pope said, noting it takes about 7 minutes maximum for each resident and between 15 and 20 minutes for each business.

"It's a very well-organized event," he said.

In addition to the personal and professional safeguards, Niagara County 16th District Legislator Wm. Keith McNall said the program is "the right step in moving forward with the environment." Sunnking reports 80 percent of the toxic waste in landfills originates from electronic scrap - the fastest growing waste stream in the U.S.

City of Lockport Mayor Mike Tucker said his municipality is moving forward with a full, curbside recycling program in the next several months.

"This will go hand-in-hand with what we're doing," he said. "We're taking recycling to the next level. This is an exciting time for us."

The Village of Lewiston is also in line for a permanent recycling structure.

Pope said he appreciates the support his program has received from local officials.

"It's been wonderful to have the elected leadership see the importance of helping not only the residents but the businesses in this tough economic time," he said.

"This is a great event, right here in Niagara County," McNall said.

"These are important days," Maziarz said. "People can get rid of stuff that's in their attics, in their basement."

"My wife already has three bags of just phone chargers that are obsolete," he joked.

•••••

The Niagara County Refuse Disposal District presents "Protect Your Identity Days" for businesses and residents on the following dates:

•Saturday, Sept. 10, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the North Tonawanda DPW, 758 Erie Ave.

•Saturday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., at GM Components Holdings, 200 Upper Mountain Road, Lockport.

Free, on-site document shredding and electronics recycling is available. For a list of what can be dropped off, visit www.sunnking.com/acceptable-materials.

Businesses can make an appointment by calling 434-0680. For more information, call the NCRDD at 434-6568 or visit www.niagaracounty.com/landfill.

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