Subject: Recycling Centers
From: JmG <>
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2002 09:13:33 -0400

Dear Barbara,

In your article today ["Town Seeks Funding for Closing Landfill" New York Journal News October 19, 2002] you wrote: "Carmel is the only one of the county's six towns to have a year-round recycling center."

The Town of Kent has had a very aggressive and successful recycling center that is open year round. It accepts virtually everything a homeowner could generate with the exception of hazardous wastes. The center takes garbage ($3.00 a bag), air conditioners, wood, aluminum and other metals. In the new building it built last year with profits from it's operation. There, residents hand sort newspaper, junk mail, green, brown and clear glass, tin and aluminum, several grades of plastics and cardboard. Everything is taken off and sold and the center continues to generate a profit.

What makes the Kent Recycling Center unique is that it is run by volunteers and funded through a subscription service. Any town resident may join by paying $50 for a year and then $3.00 for each bag of garbage they bring and the center now boasts more than 400 members. Revenue is earned through the hand sorting and sale of recyclables and turned not into the Town's General Fund where the money would surely be lost, but directly back into programs at the recycling center that now sits on land purchased - through generated revenues.

We have an "Unshopping Center" a location in the building for your old, but still useable, household items which includes a rather complete library of used books and records. It would not be an exaggeration to say that many people owe much of their home furniture to items found here! Each week you will find dozens of people poring over books in the "library" to find new ones to read, returning the old ones when they're done.

I have seen people drive up with old couches or chairs or tables or other furniture items looking to dump them when someone will come along and take it off their hands - THAT'S recycling. Four years ago when we permanently turned *OFF* our television it never made it to the Unshopping Center as another recycler took it straight from our car and put it in theirs to take home.

It's a remarkable situation.

When I lived in Connecticut I helped communities around the state organize recycling centers and have seen dozens and dozens of them. However, I have never seen a center run as well and with as much community support as that in the Town of Kent.

I would be very happy to bring you there for a bit of a tour and a meet with its customer residents and it's managers Jim and Wilma Baker, names that are well known for good reason.

You can learn more about the center at:

All my best,



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Tuesday, November 27, 2001