Area briefs: Paragus to hold technology recycling drive for charity; Sustainability Festival in Amherst; Autism conference coming up

Published: 04-13-2023 2:32 PM

Paragus to hold technology recycling drive for charity

HADLEY — Paragus IT will hold a technology recycling drive on April 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., for individuals and companies looking to get rid of old computer equipment. The drive is designed to promote sustainability on Earth Day and to benefit Dakin Humane Society.

Paragus will take old, unwanted computers, laptops, printers, and other equipment and prepare them for reuse or make sure they’re properly disposed of. In exchange, they will collect $5 per piece of equipment — all of which will go to benefit Dakin.

Those looking to recycle equipment have two choices of drop-off sites: Paragus IT at 122 Russell St. in Hadley or Dakin Humane Society at 171 Union St. in Springfield. Paragus has also partnered with the Lexington Group, which will offer a pick-up service for local businesses. A minimum of five pieces of equipment and a minimum $50 donation is required for pick-up. Interested businesses can contact Jackie Deiana at or 413-343-1104 to reserve a spot.

Amherst to hold 11th Sustainability Festival

AMHERST — The town will hold its 11th Sustainability Festival on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Town Common.

The event will include vendors of renewable energy, energy efficiency product suppliers, advocacy groups, sustainable crafts and artisans, test driving of an electric vehicle, and stage performances. The schedule of performances includes Tuff Riddim at 10 a.m., Red Loves Blue at 12 p.m., Rockin’ Ron The Friendly Pirate at 2 p.m. and Piti Theater Company at 3 p.m.

Several demonstrations will also take place including “Habitat Habitat,” a performance by The Rainbow Players, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

The Amherst Regional High School Environmental Club will also show people how to make a solar oven at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Autism Connections will hold 32nd autism conference

NORTHAMPTON — Autism Connections, the western Massachusetts autism center serving families and individuals in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties, is hosting its 32nd annual Autism Conference on April 27. The day-long educational conference is back in person at Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, Springfield, and virtually from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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The conference brings together people with autism, parents, caregivers, educators, self-advocates, professionals, organizations and service providers to build awareness and knowledge, be inspired and make meaningful connections.

The schedule includes keynote speakers Jennifer O’Toole, the autism expert on Netflix’s “Love on the Spectrum US,” and bestselling female author, and Andrew Arboe, founder of Driving with Autism, which specializes in helping autistic drivers and their families pursue driving as a transportation option.

Morning and afternoon breakout sessions led by regional experts focus on topics such as early diagnosis, college, transitioning to adult services, sexuality and job seeking.

New for in-person attendees this year is a sensory room for all participants called “In the Clouds.” This quiet space with dim lighting away from the commotion of the conference offers sensory gadgets, noise canceling headphones, bean bag chairs, exercise balls and more.

For more information about the conference, and to register, visit

3rd Annual Earth Day cleanup in Leverett

LEVERETT — The Leverett Community Builders are sponsoring the third annual Earth Day communitywide clean up Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year Rep. Natalie Blais will attend at 9 a.m.

People can participate by choosing an area to clean and signing up at Participants can bring trash/recyclables to the Transfer Station. A prize will be offered for the most trash collected.

The Highway Department will pick up large items left on the side of the road the following Monday if participants arrange pick up by emailing The Select Board and the Transfer Station are waiving fees that weekend for cleanup trash.

The event offers a great opportunity to not only clean up Leverett but to also be part of a communitywide effort.

Any questions/concerns and photos can be sent to