by Carrie Havranek
A new year tends to bring on new thinking. You probably already know that most supermarkets collect your plastic shopping bags and recycle them, and that many drycleaners will take your wire hangers. But if you’re doing some clean-up and cleaning out on the weekends and encountering things you don’t know what to do with, we have some suggestions.
1. Did you know that the Lehigh Valley has its very own business, AERC Recycling Solutions, which recycles end-of-life electronic items and pledges a zero-landfill policy? How cool is that? The company is based in Allentown and operates a weekly Friday collection events through Com-Cycle for consumers.
2. Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley. The organization, which provides services for abused victims and their children, is looking for gently used bath towels. Andrew Kleiner is spreading the word online about the organization’s towel drive; the aim is to collect 400. You can also drop them off at the organization’s administrative offices at 444 E. Susquehanna St., Allentown, on Mondays through Fridays, between 9am and 4pm; 610-437-3369. Don’t have bath towels to spare? Turning Point has a wish list of needs right on its website, and items include twin-sized blankets, batteries, battery-powered lanterns, deodorant, used cell phones, and more.
3. Goodwill. The Lehigh Valley has three locations—Bethlehem, Allentown and Fogelsville—of this nationally-recognized store. You probably know you can donate gently used clothing and household items to Goodwill, and purchase the same at its thrift store locations. But did you know that Goodwill is also known for its job training and employment placement services for those who are facing obstacles to employment? Your dollars spent help create new opportunities for people who need them.
4. R.M.C. Tech of the Lehigh Valley will accept iPhones. “We take them apart and learn/use the components,” says Ryan Critchett, company founder. Although we don’t usually advocate big box stores, Best Buy and Staples will take your old cell phones, along with ink and toner cartridges, rechargeable batteries, wires, cords, and cables and other electronic items.
5. UPS will take those annoying styrofoam fillers called packaging peanuts, so don’t throw them out.
Looking for something else to recycle? Check out 1-800-Recycling‘s web site for more information. You type in your zip code and then you can search for places to recycle everything from yard waste to used motor oil to solvents to carpet and more. Of course, there’s also Freecycle, which aims to keep things out of landfills and find them new homes—all for free.
Share your favorite recycling spots and secrets with us. Inquiring minds wanna know!
Carrie Havranek is a writer in Easton who grew up with a mom who donated old towels to our dog’s groomer and return packaging peanuts to UPS and clothes hangers to the drycleaners, long before the word “green” meant anything other than a color.