Presentation on theme: "Recycling in Central Massachusetts Photos and story by Reg Martocci of the Recycling Center Manville, St. Leicester, MA."— Presentation transcript:
Recycling in Central Massachusetts Photos and story by Reg Martocci of the Recycling Center Manville, St. Leicester, MA
The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate an alternative method of disposing our unwanted trash. This is intended to be geared towards students who live in the dorms and in off campus apartments because we generate an enormous amount of trash without many options to recycle.
One mans Junk is Another Mans Treasure This is the entrance to the Leicester Recycling Center which opened in 1992 and operates by volunteers only, no paid staff!
The Site The Center sits on land next to what used to be the Old Leicester Dump and Landfill which is no longer in use.
How the Center operates Every other Saturday volunteers meet at 8am and are assigned specific tasks. The volunteers are mainly retired elders, high school interns, concerned citizens, local youth groups, and Massachusetts Correctional Institute working prisoners.
Specific Spots for Specific Items Each item has a designated truck or area to be stored in. Depending on the item, it may be collected and sent to another site for further processing. Many items are kept on site for anyone to come and take. It is unbelievable the things people get rid of because they dont want to store them anymore.
Books This site has two book trucks, one for free books, the other for books being sent to Africa by ship twice a year. Textbooks and learning materials are a priority for Africa. Everything else will be rummaged through and sorted. People are welcome to take books from the free book truck but not from the Africa truck.
HANDS ACROSS THE WATER Book Collection Charity to Promote Literacy and Education for All at the Leicester Recycling Center Should you have any questions please contact us at tel or If you want a receipt for tax deduction purposes send us a self addressed stamped envelope with a letter providing a brief summary description of the number and type of books you have deposited at one of our statewide Massachusetts collection containers. Please specify which collection receptacle you used.
Bikes Many senior groups and youth groups love to take on the project of fixing up old bikes to donate to local charities. Community members are also welcome to take a bike home. Many are fixed and set aside for the trip to Africa.
Magazines and Newspapers Many people purchase often or are yearly subscribers to one or more magazines. Medical offices in the area are contacted and offered magazines for their waiting rooms. They are kept in the book truck and are available to anyone. Otherwise, they are packed and loaded for paper recycling and sent off to be processed. Newspaper is often picked up by farms for shredding and bedding.
Televisions A TV is usually very costly to repair. Most people would rather invest the money in buying a new one than spending money fixing the old one. Often times it is just the picture tube which needs replacing and it not expensive. Volunteers who are handy with electronic repair can often fix these up and give them to shelters and local charities. This is a truck full of repaired electronics before a charity comes to pick it up.
Computers The center collects monitors, mouse pads, keyboard, printers, scanners, etc….They have tech types that will take good parts from different computers and put them together to make working computers for local schools and non profits.
Microwaves If microwave is working, it is put with the kitchen goods and taken to a shelter. If it is broken, the glass trays and turntables are removed because people are always breaking them and looking for them. The broken microwaves are sent to a processing plant along with the broken TVs and computers to be stripped and melted.
Clothing The center collects over 2,800lbs of clothes a month and supports 15 area shelters in Worcester. Volunteers have tea, sort clothes, bag, label, and store. Clothing is distributed according to the seasons. They also have a 24 hour emergency hot line that shelters can call for emergency situations like fire victims and domestic abuse situations.
Bedding and Towels Linen are also sorted and given to shelters. Old blankets and towels that are not suitable for reuse by humans are wanted for use by local animal shelters.
Plastics Plastics are gathered in one shed but separated by shape and type of container. From here they are separated into larger specific bins until they are picked up and brought to a plastic processing center to be melted down and reused.
Wine Bottles In the glass recycling area, wine bottles are set aside for local amateur wine makers who are looking for empty bottles and pick them up.
Cans Local students run this part of the operation. Five cent returnables are sorted and turned into a redemption center for money. They have found that most people prefer one stop drop offs and will leave their cans just so they do not have to make another stop.
Kitchenware These items such as coffee pots, dishes, glasses, pots, pans, toasters, irons, silverware, etc, are collected for people who have been free from addiction for an amount of time to be placed in a half-way room. They can use these items in their new place.
Bulkier Items The Center finds places that recycles them. For example: large wood items are ground for wood for nurseries, metal is recycled as metal, couches are stripped and the fluff is bailed and sent overseas, cloth coverings are mixed with other materials and used as insulation blown into cars. Tubs sinks, and toilets are stripped and ground up and mixed with road aggregate. The center stores these types of things in a large bin until they can appropriately be hauled off.
So where does the rest of it go?
Gas Grills Gas grills are 80% Cast Aluminum and are worth money. The Center gets money from them from metal companies. Some are reusable and people want them for parts. Propane tanks are taken by businesses that sell them because the cost of recycling at a metal company is expensive.
Gas bottles can be reused.
Medical Equipment Handicapped equipment like metal crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and bathroom items are collected for Massachusetts Easter Seals. A lot of insurances do not cover these items any longer and they are expensive.
Expensive medical equipment can be reused.
Paint Paint is collected and given to non profits, theatre groups as well as the town to renovate public bathrooms and park buildings.
Cell Phones Old cell phones are recycled to battered women shelters where they ae programmed only for 911
The Free Store This is where you can come and find the most random and beautiful treasures For example:
Lots of cool stuff.
How about a guitar case?
Or bicycles and toys?
Old cell phones are recycled to battered women shelters where they ae programmed only for 911 Or a vacuum?
Or a few more treasures like these….
And finally, if you needed a merry go round……
In Leicester…. The Leicester Recycling Program is staffed by volunteers and members of regional youth programs. Through the youth program, many young people gain work experience, earn scout badges, earn high school credits, or complete community service. All youths participate in supervised work parties hand in hand with Recycling Volunteers.
The Recycling Center opened in February 1992, about a month after the Town Landfill was closed. It was started and organized by a group of dedicated and concerned citizens, spearheaded by Ruth Kaminski. It has continued to operate with no paid staff. From 1992 to 1999, no town money was used to operate the recycling center. Ruth Kaminski Today, the Recycling Center has an annual budget of approximately $10,000. Of this amount, about $6500 is from income produced directly from operation of the recycling center, and approximately $3500 is received as part of the town budget.
Manville St. is north off Rt. 9 in Leicester, MA
We live in a society where we no longer look to fix our broken items or save empty containers. When something breaks we run out and buy a new one. When a container is empty we throw it in the trash and put it out on the curb. This recycling center is a perfect example of how a community came together to take responsibility for their trash and recycles items to someone who can use them. Many items can be stripped or melted down to form new materials. Other items can be salvaged and reused by members of the community or taken to local shelters where people are in desperate need. Not only does this site serve as a meeting place for local residents to take part in local activism, but it allows members of the town to meet their neighbors and builds community. Only when we meet the needs of the community and properly manage our waste can we come closer to environmental and social sustainability. Reg Martocci, December 2003