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.

Wachusett Region Recycling Events – 1/11/14


Happy New Year!

Not too many events coming up this month, but if you have excess holiday recyclables, these might be for you.

The Wachusett Watershed Regional Recycling Center, 131 Raymond Huntington Highway, West Boylston, MA will be open from 9 to 11am every Tuesday, 2:30-4:30pm every Wednesday and from 8-11 on Saturday, January 18th. They accept a wide range items for recycling, including appliances, batteries, mercury thermometers, cardboard, plastics, and electronics. For more information, including which items will be collected for a fee and which are free, click here.

The West Boylston Boy Scout Troop 151 holds their redeemable bottle and can drive at the Major Edwards Elementary School, Crescent Street, West Boylston  this Saturday, January 11th, from 10am-1pm. All bottles and cans that are returnable in Massachusetts are accepted. Though the weather is warming up, the Boy Scouts will empty the cans out of your trunk or back seat so you don’t have to get out of your warm car.

Wachusett Region Recycling Events – 12/14/13

The West Boylston Boy Scout Troop 151 is holding their monthly redeemable bottle and can drive at the Major Edwards Elementary school, Crescent Street, West Boylston this Saturday, December 14th from 10am to 1pm. All bottles and cans that are returnable in Massachusetts are accepted. And there’s no need for you to get out of your car. Very courteous Boy Scouts will take your cans and bottles and thank you in return.

Also on Saturday, December 14th, Worcester is holding its 12th annual gun buyback program. Guns must be unloaded and wrapped in a bag in order to be dropped off. The program is anonymous. All types of guns can be dropped off. They can be old or new, working or not. Gift certificates in the following amounts will be given in return: $75 for an automatic/semi-automatic weapon, $50 for handgun, $25 for a long gun. Non-working guns will not qualify for a gift certificate. Ammunition and gun accessories are also accepted.

The Wachusett Watershed Regional Recycling Center is open on Tuesdays (9-11am), Wednesdays (2:30-4:30pm), and the 3rd Saturday of the month, December 21st, from 8 to 11am. They accept lots of items you may want to be getting rid of, such as tvs and other electronics, furniture, tires, and propane tanks. Check their website for what they accept for free and for a small fee.

Rocky’s Ace Hardware stores in Holden (160 Reservoir Street) and Northboro (261 West Main Street) are collecting unused packaged pet food that will be donated to the Worcester and Sterling animal shelters. Donations are accepted until December 23rd.