Emigre magazine recently published an issue about recycling and I've submitted this letter to them. It mentions info@townofkent.org as a source for information, which could be a listing of web sites and addresses involved with independent recycling efforts.

Good News!

Recycling is alive and well in the Town of Kent, NY! The Recycling Center is open on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. It is run by a retired couple that manage the economics and logistics of appropriate and safe waste disposal. There is a yearly membership fee of $50, a fee of $3 for each bag of garbage, and various charges for bulk items such as tires and refrigerators. It is the social center for those that appreciate a lower cost of waste disposal, and are willing to put in the effort to make a difference. There is even a Garbage Gazette that publishes articles of community awareness and facts about nature and the earth.

Unwanted items can be constructively recycled at the Unshopping Center, an area where we put things that others can use. There are lamps, toys, tools, equipment, appliances, and historical curios too numerous to mention. Sometimes furniture is simply exchanged in the parking lot, as one person sees another unloading that nice cupboard he's been looking for, and helps the other move it right into his vehicle. And there are hundreds of books organized as a library, fiction alphabetically by author, non-fiction by the Dewey decimal system.

Like yourselves, we still can't find any places to recycle computer monitors or hardware. Most of the time we try to find homes for these things at the Unshopping Center or by word of mouth. We also use the internet and newsgroups to find people that can use the parts. As our electronic discards become more numerous, I think we will see companies that extract the metals and plastics for new uses, but this could be several years away.

In the meantime, I'd like to continue encouraging the readers of Emigre to get involved in efforts to make good re-use of their stuff! We recently recycled a used computer by installing it in the home of a senior couple so they could communicate with their children and grandchildren via email, as well as utilize the internet for research purposes. We also volunteer our time to help move and sort the cans, bottles, plastics and paper that can become quite overwhelming on a Saturday morning. Then of course there are the decisions that can be made in our careers to help alleviate some of the stresses on our planet, as Emigre mentions.

If you are interested in setting up a volunteer-based recycling center in your town, contact for specifics and contacts that can help make it happen. It's a great way to make better use of the things we throw out, and you get to know the people in your community that believe in doing the right thing.

Town of Kent, NY


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005