There's more to America Recycles Day than just recycling.
The Mid-Columbia Earth Month Committee wants folks to also reduce, reuse and repurpose today and every day thereafter.
"Recently, information about America Recycles Day -- Nov. 15 -- popped into my email," Lora Rathbone said.
The Richland woman has served on the Mid-Columbia Earth Month committee for years but she hadn't known of the movement or visited the site at americarecyclesday.org.
"We've already been meeting, planning Earth Month events for April, but when we saw this, we decided to expand our efforts and make recycling more of a year-round thing," she said.
Rathbone and Gail Everett, Richland's environmental education coordinator, compiled a list of recycling opportunities in the Mid-Columbia.
"I was surprised at some of the items -- and the places -- you can recycle," Rathbone said. "Everyone knows about aluminum and steel, but did you know Styrofoam peanuts and running shoes can be recycled too?"
Thrift stores and consignment shops are obvious places to send gently used, yet unwanted items. The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Richland, however, is a place few consider regarding donations.
Mark Olsen, warehouse supervisor of the ReStore, wants to change that. Those who are not fussy about color or style may consider the ReStore for building materials, light fixtures and other home items.
"But almost no one thinks to donate old appliances or pop cans," he said. "We have a very viable recycling program. If it can't be used, we can recycle it, and the money from that goes back into our home building program."
Olsen said new and gently used building materials such as plywood and drywall always are in demand, as well as nails, screws, door knobs and hinges, light fixtures -- commercial and residential -- and light bulbs. Paint also is a welcome donation, but the containers must be at least nearly full.
"Our aim is to keep reusable materials out of the landfill," Olsen said. He estimated the Richland ReStore annually prevents about 150 tons of useful items from being discarded.
Rathbone wants Mid-Columbia residents follow that example, and the following is a list of drop-off points for recyclables:
-- Basin Recycling, 1721 Dietrich Road, Pasco, 545-8555; drop box locations at www.basindisposal.com. Cardboard, office paper, newspaper, aluminum cans, clear and brown glass, tin, and plastic are accepted.
-- Clayton Ward Recycling, 1936 Saint St., Richland, 375-4086; 119 E. Albany St., Kennewick, 582-8277. www.claytonwardrecycling.com
Paper: cardboard, newspaper, mixed, office; Plastic: many grades; E-Waste: computers, CPU (towers); laptops, monitors, televisions; Metal: scrap and aluminum cans, tin cans, brass and copper.
-- Pacific Steel & Recycling, 315 S. Gum St., Kennewick, 582-2134; 925 N. Oregon Ave., Pasco, 545-0688. http://pacific-steel.com/
-- Best Buy, 6809 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, 737-0441
-- Clayton Ward Recycling Richland & Kennewick
-- Home Depot, rechargeable batteries and cell phones, 2855 Duportail St., Richland, 627-0111; 3910 W. 27th Ave., Kennewick, 582-6697.
-- Office Depot, 1717 George Washington Way, Richland, 946-3747; 6815 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, 783-5665.
-- Radio Shack, rechargeable batteries, 135 N. Ely St., Kennewick, 374-8377; 405 W. Columbia Drive, Kennewick, 783-2976; 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Kennewick, 783-2976; 1767 George Washington Way, Richland, 946-5191.
-- Staples Office Supply, 1480 Tapteal Drive, Richland, 374-8878.
Donate to Domestic Violence Services, 582-9841; Richland's Helping Hands Program has boxes at City Hall and the Richland Library, or send to www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com, www.donateaphone.com.
-- Go to www.ecyclewashington.org
-- Clayton Ward Recycling in Kennewick and Richland; Goodwill Industries.
-- Donate computers to Columbia Basin College students at the Pasco campus. Call 547-0511 Ext. 2397 for approval and delivery instructions.
-- Techno Trash: GreenDisk accepts a number of items from CDs to PCs. There is a charge per pound. More info at www.greendisk.com
-- Automotive: Place fluid in a container with a tight-fitting lid, label and bring to a hazardous waste collection event, disposal facility or call an auto parts store.
-- Medications: Take-back program offered through the Costco pharmacy in Kennewick and bi-annual collection events at police departments.
-- Paint: Full or partially full containers can be donated. Partial containers can be solidified using sawdust, shredded paper or cat litter and allowed to dry, then placed in the trash. Oil-based paints must be disposed of as hazardous waste.
-- Local Boys Metal Recycling, call for pick up or 24/7 drop-off at 510 Wellsian Way, Richland, 308-8251. www.mylocalboys.com
-- Pacific Steel & Recycling, 315 S. Gum St., Kennewick, 582-2134; 925 N. Oregon Ave., Pasco, 545-0688, pacific-steel.com
-- Pasco Towing 543-8385, www.pascotowinginc.com
-- Tommy's Steel & Salvage, cars, 904 S. Oregon Ave., Pasco, 547-1221
-- Twin City Metals, 455 E. Bruneau Ave., Kennewick, 582-8207
-- Athletic Shoes: www.nikereuseashoe.com.
-- Packing peanuts: Take to a mailing service, call first, or to the nonprofit SIGN Fracture Care International, 451 Hills St., Suite B, Richland, 371-1107.
-- Plant Start Containers: Place containers of all shapes and sizes near the composting area at the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at Mid-Columbia Library, 1620 S. Union St., Kennewick. Rigid containers are accepted at Clayton Ward Recycling.
-- Plastic Bags: take grocery, produce bags, newspaper sleeves, dry cleaning bags to collection boxes at grocery stores; thrift stores also accept them.
-- Prescription eye glasses: donate to nonprofit organizations at various optometrist offices and major grocery stores.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org