Recycles day volunteers

After a record turnout in 2020 with unexpectedly long lines, our 5th annual Saratoga Recycles Day significantly reduced the wait time for nearly 400 vehicles that moved quickly through the various drop-off points to recycle or donate unwanted items.

Bill Boehmke, who helped redesign this year’s traffic flow, said, “Every year we make adjustments, and this year’s plan got people off Route 50 quickly and moving around the stations with very little waiting. After the opening rush, most people passed through in less than 15 minutes.”

One important focus of Sustainable Saratoga’s work is to keep things out of the landfill and extend their useful life. This event makes a huge impact. The benefit to partnering community organizations continues to grow as well. The electronic and scrap metal recycling is always a popular station. Planit Waste, Recycling & Salvage and eLot Electronics Recycling collected electronics and scrap metal again this year. Participants dropped off more than 150 TVs and monitors, contributing to the almost 20,000 pounds of electronics that will be responsibly recycled and kept out of landfills.

B.E.S.T. volunteers collected lots of great clothing items.

American Clothing Company collected 6675 pounds of clothing and textiles. Bags filled with men’s shoes, jackets and clothing were donated to the Backstretch Employee Service Team to benefit the backstretch workers at Saratoga Racetrack. Even with COVID creating high demand for bikes, people still dropped off around 20 bikes that Bikeatoga volunteers will fix up this winter. The Saratoga Springs Lions Club collected over 400 pairs of eyeglasses, and Wellspring received 106 cell phones.

New this year, We Are Instrumental received 14 instruments that they will repair and get into kids’ hands; the Domestic Violence Project of Warren & Washington Counties collected ~1500 pieces of children’s clothing and 50 backpacks for domestic violence survivors and their children; and Pitney Meadows Community Farm collected about 90 garden tools and hoses. All of these items will be reused, helping both individuals in need and the environment.

Also new this year, was a giveaway by Youth2. This group of students purchased and disseminated 100 compost bins during Recycles Day. Eliza Krackeler, one of the youth members, said, “we were able to give every last compost bin to passionate people who had outdoor compost bins, low quality countertop bins, or who were just excited to begin composting to help save our planet. In the process, several board members also went home with compost bins to start their own journeys. It was such a fulfilling experience to see people reacting so well to composting, what I believe will be the future of our world.” 

Executive Director Wendy Mahaney is grateful for the community support and enthusiasm for the event. “We’d like to thank all the volunteers, partners, and participants who made this year’s event another major success,” she said. “It was truly a team effort.”

It’s never too early to start saving items for next year! To learn where to donate items before then, check out our Recycling and Donating Guidebook. To have your organization be considered for inclusion next year, please contact us at

Pitney Meadows raked in the garden tools!
eLot Electronics Recycling collected over 150 TVs & monitors.
We Are Instrumental is playing a happy tune after collecting 14 instruments to repair.
Volunteers from Skidmore College help load the American Clothing & Textile trucks.

Events like Saratoga Recycles Day are expensive and take months of planning. If you benefit from our events and would like to see them continue, please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you!