Wachusett Region Recycling Events – November 2016

Now that we are preparing for the winter season, you may be realizing you have coats from previous years that you are planning to replace. Why not donate them to the Worcester County Sheriffs Office’s Annual Coat Drive? Any new or gently-used adult or children’s winter coats can be dropped off at many locations, including those below. Or call 508-796-2638 to schedule a pick up. The drive hopes to surpass last year’s 3000 donations by the end of November 2016 and distribute them through local community organizations. This is a good opportunity to hold an event at your work or school or in your community. See their website for more information.

Auburn: Lundgren Honda

Dudley: Twin City Cleaners

Fitchburg: Office of Community Corrections, Independent Cleaners

Gardner: Gardner Museum

Holden: Senior Center, Oriol Healthcare

Leominster: Planet Fitness, Hannaford Supermarket

Lunenburg: Hannaford Supermarket

Princeton: Wachusett Mountain Ski Area

Shrewsbury: Austin Liquors

Webster: Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Regional Resource Center

Westborough: Chick-Fil-A

Worcester: Unum Insurance, Herlihy Insurance, Hearing & Balance Center of New England


Drop off your MA redeemable bottles and cans to Sterling’s (MA) Boy Scout Troop 189 on Saturday, November 5th from 8am-2pm. Donations can be brought to the Sterling DPW, 171 Worcester Rd. (Rte. 12) or call Mike at 978-422-7756 to arrange a pick-up. Those nickels add up and can help them to fund activities and projects.

To honor Veteran’s Day, which is Friday, November 11, Holden’s (MA)  Boy Scout Troop 45 sponsoring a US. Flag retirement drive. Worn US flags can be dropped off any time during the year to the collection bin outside the Holden Senior Center, 1130 Main St. This month, flags will be given the proper retirement following the Boy Scouts of America approved protocol. Contact Caleb Andros at caleb.andros@yahoo.com with any questions.

The Wachusett Watershed Regional Recycling Center is open various hours on Monday thru Wednesday and the 3rd Saturday of the month (November 15th) to accept all kinds or items from button batteries to washing machines for recycling. They also have a reuse shop, which accepts donations of useable items such as craft materials, small home goods, luggage, sports equipment and kitchen goods. Check their website for the schedule and the list of items they accept.


Recycle That Suit!

Recycle that suit!

The retail chain Men’s Wearhouse is running their annual drive to collect men’s gently-used professional clothing during the month of July with a goal of collecting 250,000 items. These donations will go social service agencies that work with men who are not able to purchase clothing such as suits, dress shirts, ties, shoes, and accessories that are necessary to present themselves as good job candidates. Those of us who can afford suits and dress clothing may take for granted how necessary these items are to having a job in many sectors of the workforce and to other obligations we have in our everyday lives (weddings, funerals, etc.). For people who aren’t able to afford them, these donations allow them to present themselves during job interviews with confidence and increase their chances of entering or re-entering the workforce. As the stories on the website show, past recipients of these suits are not only people from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds, but people who have struggled due in a variety of ways due to the economy. It’s a national drive, so donations are accepted at all Men’s Wearhouse locations. Use their store locator to find one near you.

suit drive graphic

Where to Recycle Wearable Fitness Tracking Devices

The spring weather motivates many of us to resolve to get more exercise. As part of that effort, we might invest in some tools to help us get going. New exercise clothes, walking sneakers, bike tune-ups. To help us keep track of our efforts, we buy a wearable tracking device, like a FitBit or PolarLoop, to give us the data we need to stay on track. But, after a while, we start to lose motivation. Maybe we’re not seeing quick results. Maybe we’re just too busy with commitments that don’t allow for time to exercise. It is hard to create a new routine. One study* found that use of FitBit tracking devices dropped after only 2 weeks, in part because wearers couldn’t easily incorporate them into busy lives. Or, we lose confidence the device’s ability to give accurate data or find that the data is gives isn’t what we need. And, continuous advancements have us replacing our wearable for the newest model. Into a drawer the unused or old model goes.

RecycleHealth will take your unused tracker and donate it to someone who needs it. RecycleHealth donates wearable trackers to fitness research studies with underserved populations, like those with low incomes or the elderly, to find out the best ways to use trackers towards behavior change and health improvement and to learn which trackers suit which behavior change best. They provide a prepaid mailing label so it costs nothing to donate and it tax deductible. They are also interested in partnering with individuals or organizations to collect devices or distribute wearables as part of a research study. Check out their website for more info.


*When Fitness Trackers Don’t ‘Fit’: End-User Difficulties in the Assessment of Personal Tracking Device Accuracy
*Use and Adoption Challenges of Wearable Activity Trackers

*Why We Use and Abandon Smart Devices

Visiting the Local Recycling Center

I dropped by the Wachusett Watershed Regional Recycling Center on a recent Monday afternoon, shortly after they opened at 5PM and was pleased to see they were busy. I waited behind 4 cars as several more lined up behind me. To recycle a printer and several CFL light bulbs, I paid just $2. After I checked in and paid my fees, I drove a circuit along which are the areas where the different categories of items are collected. Others were recycling huge pieces of cardboard and a suede sectional couch. The reuse shop was also very busy – the parking lot was nearly full. Inside that building are rows packed with all kinds of items that are useful but no longer wanted by their previous owners. Among the rows, I saw kitchen electronics, luggage, christmas decorations, greeting cards, coffee mugs, roller blades, golf clubs, framed pictures, baskets, and packing bubble wrap. Donating is easy – just stop at the desk as you enter. I left empty-handed that day, but it’s nice to stop in and see what they have every once in a while. Being that busy, the stock probably changes often. It’s made me more motivated to do some spring cleaning and recycling, especially now that the weather’s taking a turn for the better.

Earth Day 2016

Happy Earth Day!

Inspired by the impact of the previous year’s Santa Barbara oil spill, which spread 3 million gallons of crude oil along 35 miles of California’s cost, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin designated April 22, 1970 as Earth Day. He intended to capitalize on the building public awareness of air and water pollution by mobilizing citizens to attend demonstrations and events across the US on that day. Millions of people attended events held in most major cities in the country. That activity led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, 3 major pieces of environmental legislation that are still in place today, and a continued attention to environmental policy issues. Earth Day (designated by the United Nations as International Mother Earth Day in 2009) was celebrated globally in 1990 and the Day has been expanded to a Week in many locations. On Earth Day 2016, 150+ nations will come together at the United Nations to sign the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Despite the doom and gloom about the consequences of climate change, National Geographic put together a list of what is going right in our environmental history, which is a good way to end the day.