By Dana Casadei
Meridian Times staff writer
Nancy Moore Park, located off Okemos Road, became home to the Meridian Recycling Committee’s tenth Recycling/Reuse event this past weekend.
The event, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, was spread out among two of the park’s parking lots. The front lot had a tent, which was for book donations, and was a place for volunteers to collect pieces of metal and bicycles, among other things. The back lot had Vintage Tech collecting all types of electronics, from computers to batteries, and was a place where people could watch their documents be shredded by Accu-Shred, according to the press release sent out in regard to the event.
“That’s a big thing for people,” said Kit Rich, one of the recycling event coordinators. “You want to watch your stuff go into the shredder and know that no one took it.”
Another big element of this year’s event would be that people were able to take their green glass there, something that they hadn’t been able to do in the past few years, said Barbara Reeves, the other event coordinator.
“We didn’t have any choice, we weren’t going to collect something that went into a landfill,” said Reeves.
Even though people weren’t able to bring green glass the past few years, they still brought everything else they had, ranging from broken hairdryers to packing peanuts, and this year was no different, with people bringing items by the truckload.
“People are grateful because they’ve wanted to get rid of this stuff but didn’t want to put them in the landfill,” said Rich.
With those grateful people also comes a grateful Recycling Committee, since many people, and companies, donate money to this cause that they too believe in. Costing close to $3,000 an event, it would be near double that if it weren’t for businesses willing to help out, including ASAP Printing, which prints 3,000 flyers and 50 posters, for free, said Reeves.
Donating while there couldn’t be easier, with volunteers in very convenient places, one can stay in their car the whole time they are there, including when they are getting rid of items.
“We hope that they will just drive through and volunteers will run up, open the trunk and unload their cars so they can keep the traffic going,” said Ellen Dillman, who will be next year’s volunteer coordinator.
After everything is collected, these businesses take those items, recycling them and in some cases reusing them into other things, since for many this is what they do.
Not only have these events helped people empty their basements and garages but they have also lead to some gain in the recycling community in Meridian Township, with local recycle centers now taking items that they hadn’t before, including boxboard, which is thinner than cardboard.
“We have a very healthy environment around here for recycling. Meridian Township cares. It’s obvious that its residents care, it obvious that its volunteers care, it’s very obvious that the businesses care,” said Reeves. “It’s been a labor of love.”