SALEM — SalemRecycles is hosting a recycling drive for used clothing, shoes and a variety of other household products on May 1.
The event, in partnership with the Medford-based for-profit environmental organization, HELPSY, will take place at Riley Plaza from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
SalemRecycles has been hosting textile recycling events for the past 11 years. Its annual recycling drive in the fall has become a highly anticipated community event.
“Despite having textile recycling collection boxes at all our schools, people still love this event,” said Nancy Gilberg, a volunteer committee member with SalemRecycles. “They seem to love the ease and convenience of it, the visual of seeing the HELPSY truck filled each time, and the community feel of everyone coming together to recycle.”
This November, SalemRecycles expanded its collections, partnering with the organization TerraCycle, which assists in the recycling of difficult to recycle products and collects Swiffer Pads and used razors. At that event, the group was able to fill an entire truck with used items.
“That visual has a huge motivating impact,” said Gilberg. “People realize collectively just how much we can divert from the waste stream.”
Due to the success of that event, SalemRecycles decided to add an additional spring event, this time with even more options for TerraCycle recycling, including oral care products, deodorant, and a variety of writing and arts supplies.
“We’re excited to be adding TerraCycle brigades to our repertoire, and the number of collections we’re offering is growing.,” said Gilberg. “There are so many plastic, everyday items (such as toothbrushes and deodorant containers) that traditional curbside recyclers can’t process. TerraCycle specializes in handling these hard-to-recycle items.”
Textiles of all kinds, and in various states of usability, are still welcome, such as new or used clothes, shoes, T-shirts, sweaters needing buttons, belts in need of buckles, towels, curtains, bedspreads, purses, jackets, hats and gloves, backpacks, socks and jeans.
All items will be restored and re-sold, upcycled, repurposed or recycled.
For a complete list of all acceptable pieces for donation, people can click on the Facebook link to the event.
Additional information on environmentally friendly programs and recycling initiatives can be found by following “SalemRecycles” on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and by visiting www.greensalem.com and www.helpsy.co.
Attendees are asked to maintain social distancing during the event, wear a face mask and remain in their vehicles with items that are ready to be unloaded.
“We’ve got it set up as a drive-through drop off, with COVID safety precautions in place,” said Gilberg. “Drivers will stay masked in their vehicles while our volunteers unload their trunks.”
Those interested in volunteering can e-mail [email protected].
Guthrie Scrimgeour can be reached at [email protected].