SARATOGA SPRINGS —The crowds at Sustainable Saratoga’s fourth annual Saratoga Recycles Day showed just how much demand there is for this community recycling event. More than 630 vehicles wound their way through the drop-off stations to recycle or donate unwanted items. Cars were already lining up before 8 a.m., an hour before the official opening, and organizers started the event early, as soon as the collection stations were ready to go.
“While we expected that the extra time spent at home this year due to COVID-19 would drive up attendance, we were still surprised by the record-breaking turnout,” said Margie Shepard, Co-Chair of Sustainable Saratoga’s Zero Waste Committee.
The electronics and clothing/textile drop-off locations were in especially high demand. Planit Waste, Recycling & Salvage and eLot Electronics Recycling collected huge quantities of batteries, electronics and scrap metal. Hundreds of TVs and monitors were dropped off, contributing to the thousands of pounds of electronics that will be responsibly recycled and kept out of landfills. Early estimates indicate a record amount of textiles and clothing were donated at this year’s event, which took place Saturday, October 24, at the overflow parking lot at SPAC in Saratoga Springs.
One important strategy for keeping things out of landfills is to extend their useful life. Every year, the list of partnering community groups who collect items increases. This year, participants included American Clothing, Shelters of Saratoga, B.E.S.T., Bikeatoga, Transitional Services Association, Saratoga Lions Club and Wellspring.
Shelters of Saratoga collected 106 sleeping bags, 43 tents and 61 backpacks that will be used to help many people this coming winter. Around 60 large bags of men’s shoes, jackets and clothing were donated to B.E.S.T. to benefit the backstretch workers at the Saratoga Racetrack. Sustainable Saratoga collected over 100 bikes, and Bikeatoga took more than half of them to add to their winter project load. American Clothing collected several truckloads of donated clothing and textiles. Three large carloads of donated art supplies will be put to good use by the artists at Transitional Services Association. The Saratoga Lions Club collected buckets full of eyeglasses, and Wellspring received 342 cell phones. All of these items will be reused, helping both individuals in need and the environment.
Art Holmberg, Chair of Sustainable Saratoga, noted: “This event is planned and run by our volunteers. As a small but mighty non-profit organization, we could not pull off an event of this size without the more than 30 wonderful volunteers who helped plan and staff this event.”
If you missed the event, Sustainable Saratoga has a link to its Recycling and Donating Guidebook at www.sustainablesaratoga.org.
It is never too early to start saving items to recycle next year! Sustainable Saratoga is already brainstorming ideas for 2021. They wish to thank the community for their generosity and commitment to making sustainable choices.