The crowds at Sustainable Saratoga’s fourth annual Saratoga Recycles Day on October 24, 2020 showed just how much demand there is for this community recycling event. More than 630 vehicles wound their way through the drop-off stations to recycle or donate unwanted items. Cars were already lining up before 8 a.m., an hour before the official opening, and so we started the event as soon as the collection stations were ready to go.

“While we expected that the extra time spent at home this year due to COVID-19 would drive up attendance, we were still surprised by the record-breaking turnout,” said Margie Shepard, Co-Chair of Sustainable Saratoga’s Zero Waste Committee.

The electronics and clothing/textile drop-off locations were in especially high demand. Planit Waste, Recycling & Salvage and eLot Electronics Recycling collected thousands of pounds of batteries, electronics and scrap metal. Over 1,100 lbs of batteries were collected, which was a new item for this year’s event. Hundreds of TVs and monitors were dropped off, contributing to ~50,000 lbs of electronics that will be responsibly recycled and kept out of landfills.

One important strategy for keeping things out of landfills is to extend their useful life. Every year, the list of partnering community groups who collect items increases. This year, participants included American Clothing, Shelters of Saratoga, B.E.S.T., Bikeatoga, Transitional Services Association, Saratoga Lions Club and Wellspring.

Here is some of what we collected:

  • Shelters of Saratoga: 106 sleeping bags, 43 tents & 61 backpacks
  • B.E.S.T.: 60 large bags of men’s shoes, jackets & clothing 
  • We collected 101 bikes; Bikeatoga took 53 to refurbish & some kids bikes were picked up at the event
  • American Clothing: 12,498 lbs clothing & textiles
  • Transitional Services Association: 3 carloads of art supplies
  • Saratoga Lions Club: several containers full of eyeglasses
  • Wellspring: 342 cell phones.

All of these items will be reused, helping both individuals in need and the environment.

Art Holmberg, Chair of Sustainable Saratoga, noted: “This event is planned and run by our volunteers. As a small but mighty non-profit organization, we could not pull off an event of this size without the more than 30 wonderful volunteers who helped plan and staff this event.”

If you missed the event, click this link for our Recycling and Donating Guidebook.

It is never too early to start saving items to recycle next year! We are already brainstorming ideas for 2021. Thank you to everyone in the community that participated in this event for their generosity and commitment to making sustainable choices.