The Tewksbury Congregational Church and the Tewksbury Recycling Committee teamed up for the third annual Zero Waste Day at the John Wynn Middle School. Residents were encouraged to donate or recycle items that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
"Zero Waste Day is a great day for people to donate used, but usable items," said Loretta Ryan, a co-coordinator of the event. "Bottom line, don't put it in the waste stream. Every ton that we don't put in the waste stream saves the town of Tewksbury (...) It's a great way for people to clean up, clear out, feel good about giving."
The parking lot was set up so that cars could stop at various stations depending on what they were donating. Local groups such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the ASPCA, Bikes not Bombs, The Wish Project, and More Than Words were on hand to accept donations of videos, books, clothing, bicycles, furniture, electronics, and many other items. Donations that couldn’t be re-used or recycled found their way to the truck of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, whose job it was to dispose of those items.
The organizing groups were hoping to exceed the donation amount of 402 donors from last year.
Beth McFadyen, a co-coordinator of the event, believed that the 2011 Zero Waste Day went "fabulously well". She was pleased with both the turnout and the help of the vendors and volunteers.
"We're very thankful for the community support, and the support of the members of the church who were not able to physically volunteer, who donated cases of water and cookies, and all that sort of thing to keep our volunteers happy and comfortable" she said.
In all, Zero Waste Day had 518 donors, a jump in participation of around 30 percent. These 518 donors recycled about 75 bikes, 3000 books, and 145 tires.