WE CAN to host regional recycling event in Grafton


By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Region – Melisa Hollenback, Shrewsbury resident and president of WE CAN, is helping to coordinate another regional drive-through re-use event that will take place Saturday, August 8 at Grafton Town Hall, 30 Providence Rd., Grafton.

Once again, Hollenback will be working with WE CAN regional coordinator Irene Congdon and the towns of Shrewsbury, Grafton, Westborough and Northborough. While these communities are co-hosting this event, residents from neighboring towns may participate.

Their most recent event was held in January at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Mass. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, their operations have since been impacted.

As such, due to COVID-19 they cannot take Styrofoam at this event because they need multiple people to break down the foam into small pieces; it doesn’t mix well with social distancing. However, they hope to resume accepting it at their next event tentatively scheduled for November later this year.

Hollenback also explained that each of the participating communities will receive points from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s SMRP Recycling Dividends Program (RDP) that provides payments to qualifying municipalities that have implemented specific waste reduction, reuse, and recycling programs. The funds then can be used to offset solid waste and recycling expenses.

She commented that of the 75 or so communities in Central Massachusetts, Northborough and Shrewsbury were the only two that did not have an easy drop-off point for hard to recycle items such as electronics, mattresses, textiles and Styrofoam.

When asked what was new for this event, she replied via email, “We will be adding Salvation Army and expanding Fresh Start so we are really pushing the RE-USE aspect…We accept used clothing and textiles, shoes, purses, wallets, belts, sheets, curtains, pillows, table cloths. Holes and rips are accepted but please no wet or moldy items.”

Mattresses will also be accepted for a $30 fee.

A variety of electronics will also be accepted such as holiday lights, desktop and laptop computers, printers, home audio and video, VCR / DVD players and microwaves, small kitchen appliances such as toasters, coffee maker and vacuums ($10 each); air conditioners, dehumidifier, small refrigerators and monitors ($20 each); televisions, 26 inch and under ($20 each) and larger televisions ($40).

The following can be recycled for free: Books, CDs and DVDs, video games, crafts and office supplies and a variety of household items.

Many of the textiles, furniture, small household appliances and office supplies that can be re-used will go to various organizations such as Project New Hope – MA, Epilepsy Foundation, Fresh Start Furniture Exchange, The Great Exchange and local animal shelters.

Congdon noted that the biggest difference people will see is that they will need to unload their own items. She asks that people be understanding and patient.

For more information and a full list of acceptable items, instructions and associated fees, visit  https://wecan-ma.org/recycling-event-august-8-2020.