GREENWICH, Conn. – Recycling awareness is not just for Earth Day, say Greenwich residents Joanne Clark and Sally Davis, who have organized opportunities for residents to get rid of “stuff” without filling up landfills.
“There is generally more consciousness here,” says Davis of the willingness of Greenwich residents to recycle.
“I’ve noticed in just the last year people off all ages are using reusable grocery bags, and that shows that there is some kind of awareness level out there,” said Clark. “It’s a thought process.”
Davis said the single-stream recycling program, which began in Greenwich last year, has helped to show how much is being thrown away. “When single-stream came to town we expected more people to bark out loud about it,” said Clark. “Then they realized how much easier it is.”
Clark and Davis have organized two major recycling events for sneakers and paper during April, which is the designated Earth Day Celebration Month in Greenwich. Coordinated by the Conservation Commission, the celebration will kick off Sunday with a proclamation by First Selectman Peter Tesei at the newly refurbished Innis Arden Cottage at Greenwich Point at 2 p.m. All month, events will be held to raise awareness of the importance of recycling.
The sneaker-recycling program, which has run for seven years, garners about 2 tons of shoes each year, which translates into about 4,000 pairs. This year, a one-day collection will be held April 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Greenwich Town Hall. This replaces a six-week-long program with bins at neighborhood firehouses and Holly Hill Recycling Facility.
Davis, who serves as the head of Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board, says the sneaker collection is done with the Nike “Reuse the Shoe” program. The rubber from donated sneakers will be reused in athletic surfaces and tracks in needy neighborhoods.
“Our goal is to not put anything into the trash that we could use ourselves,” said Clark. “I mean, how many dirty sneakers do you have lying around your house? We keep 2 tons of sneakers out of the trash in Greenwich every year.”
The same day, for the first time, a paper recycling and shredding event will be held. “So many people say they sit and tear paper into little bits into their trash can, and that’s a lot of paper that doesn’t get recycled,” said Clark, who has been working on Earth Day events in Greenwich for 30 years. Residents can bring in up to five boxes of sensitive documents. After the five-box limit, there will be a $1 fee for extra boxes.
Check back with The Daily Greenwich for more Earth Day Celebration Month events as they are announced.