By Joan Fudala
Remember when you needed or used all that stuff that has piled up in your home, garage, business, storage unit or car trunk? Then you should also remember that you can make some recycling history of your own by recycling to benefit local organizations … and the environment.
Earth Day falls on April 22, and many area groups hold special recycling events that get good publicity. But you don’t have to wait until those are announced to begin your spring-cleaning.
Here are some key local resources to help you dispose of unwanted items in an Earth friendly and often charitable way.
Computer equipment and supplies:
• City of Scottsdale Electronic Recycling Quarterly Collection. The next scheduled electronics recycling day is Saturday, May 3, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Bring your computers, peripherals, office equipment and entertainment equipment to 9191 E. San Salvador Drive (off Via Linda in Scottsdale Ranch) for drop-off. For further information, see www.scottsdaleaz.gov/recycle/recyclingelectronics or call the city’s Solid Waste Department, 480-312-5600. The next drop-off day isn’t scheduled until Oct. 11.
• Electronicfest@Scottsdale Pavilions. For more than 25 years, local Boy Scouts have hosted a monthly electronics event that raises funds and benefits consumers and the environment. Held at the Scottsdale Pavilions the third Sunday each month (due to Easter, the next one is a week earlier, April 13), Electronicfest gives those with excess electronic equipment the opportunity to sell, swap or donate, with selling space available for a modest fee that goes to support Boy Scouts’ programs. See www.electronicfest.com for details and dates for the rest of 2014.
• Arizona StRUT. Students Recycling Used Technology was created in 1997 by founding sponsors Intel and Motorola to teach students how to refurbish used computer equipment. Once refurbished, the equipment is donated to schools and qualified nonprofit organizations throughout the state. More than 100 companies as well as countless individuals donate to the program, according to the
AZStRUT website, www.azstrut.org, where you can find details on when, where and how to donate equipment.
Common Household or Small Business Items:
• Bikes and bike accessories. Scottsdale Handlebar Helpers, a program at the Paiute Neighborhood Center, provides bicycles to those who perform community service. To donate a bike, see www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Page25.aspx or call 480-312-2771.
• Blankets and towels, gently used or new. Arizona Humane Society shelters need blankets and towels as well as other pet supplies; see www.azhumane.org/how-you-can-help-arizona-humane-society/donate/shelter-wish-list for what they need and how to provide it.
• Books, magazines (current issues), DVDs, music CDs, video games. When you donate these gently used items to one of the Scottsdale Public Libraries, they are sold in the library’s Book Corrals and help fund library programs at Scottsdale Civic Center, Mustang, Palomino, Arabian and Appaloosa. See www.scottsdalelibrary.org/content/material_donations.
• Building materials. Stardust Building Supplies also accepts gently used appliances, furniture and more. For a complete list of accepted items, as well as drop-off locations and hours, removal service and home pickup service, see www.stardustbuilding.org/donate2.html.
• Citrus fruit. Have more citrus on your trees than you and your neighbors/friends/coworkers can use? See www.roofrat.net for information on a citrus collection program that usually runs from January through March and benefits local food banks, senior centers, Arizona Indian Tribes and the Maricopa County jails. According to the group’s website, more than 2.5 million pounds of quality citrus have been donated since 2002.
• Clothing. Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Thrift Shop (2626 N. Scottsdale Road), Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, Hospice of the Valley’s White Dove Thrift Shoppe (8461 E. McDonald Dr., Scottsdale), Fresh Start Treasures (3949 E. Thomas Road), Andre House, church rummage sales. Prior to next February’s Arizona Stand-down for Veterans, the AZ Stand-down Alliance will be soliciting practical clothing for homeless veterans (jeans, sweatshirts, socks, etc.).
• Eyeglasses. Take your outdated glasses to kiosks in Valley Walmart stores to benefit the Lions Club International Recycle for Sight program.
• Furniture and household items (kitchenware, etc.). Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Goodwill Industries, Vietnam Veterans of America, Friends (of Animal Care & Control) Thrift Shop (12625 N. Cave Creek Road), Hospice of the Valley’s White Dove Thrift Shoppe (8461 E. McDonald Dr., Scottsdale)
• Gowns and prom dresses. Fairy Godmothers Inc. is a nonprofit organization that helps junior and senior high school girls get outfitted for their proms by giving them access to donated gowns, jewelry, purses and other accessories. Must be in excellent to new condition. See fairygodmothersinc.org/donate for needs and how to donate.
• Loose change/coins. Log onto www.coinstar.com or call 1-800-928-CASH to find the most convenient Coinstar location. Many area grocery stores have the coin-sorting machines, which take a small percentage from your sorted amount, then give you a receipt that you can use toward a gift card, your grocery bill or turn in for cash. Many locations also have programs where you can designate your coins to benefit a charitable organization, such as the American Red Cross, Audubon, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House Charities, UNICEF and others.
• Medical equipment. Clean medical equipment in good working order, such as canes, crutches, walkers, shower benches and wheelchairs, can be donated to Scottsdale’s Granite Reef Senior Center’s Medi-Loan Program. Call 480-312-1700 before donating. St. Vincent de Paul also loans medical equipment; call 602-261-6896 for donation information/needs.
• Musical instruments. SNAP/Scottsdale Neighborhood Arts Place, a 501(c)(3) housed at the Scottsdale Congregational Church of Christ on Granite Reef, welcomes donations of musical instruments as well as art supplies. See www.yoursnap.org for a needs list, or call 480-947-4770. If you think you have a rare/collectible musical instrument to donate, fill out the form at the Musical Instrument Museum website to see if staff is interested in adding it to the international collection (www.mim.org).
• Metal hangers and plastic garment-cover bags. Recycle at most dry cleaners. For example all Prestige Cleaners locations provide customers with a free hanger recycling caddy made of cardboard; when returned to Prestige full of hangers, the customer receives $1 off the next cleaning service (www.prestigecleaners.com/services/greener-cleaner).
• Nonperishable food. Vista del Camino, Scottsdale’s umbrella social services facility, houses the community’s food bank. Items (unexpired only) may be dropped off Monday through Friday at 7700 E. Roosevelt; see the concerned Citizens for Community Health website for a needs list at ccch.azurewebsites.net/ways-to-give or call Vista del Camino, 480-312-2323, for food bank hours.
• Pet food. P.E.T (Pets Eat Too) Pantry at Vista del Camino, 7700 E. Roosevelt, Scottsdale, is a pet food bank accessible to Scottsdale residents who need help in caring for their pets during times of financial crisis. Call 480-312-2323 for information and drop-off hours.
• School supplies. Help local teachers equip their classrooms beyond what modest school budgets allow, and foster student creativity. See the amazing story of Treasures 4 Teachers and what they need donated at www.treasures4teachers.org/give.
• Scottsdale historically significant photographs and documents. Also scrapbooks, home movies/videos, yearbooks, ephemera such as menus, posters, brochures, event programs.
• Scottsdale Historical Society, call 480-945-4499 (also interested in artifacts that are significant to Scottsdale history).
• Scottsdale Collection, Scottsdale Civic Center library, see www.scottsdalelibrary.org/historical#, or email LibraryDigitalCollection@ScottsdaleAz.gov.
• Toiletries, socks. Scottsdale-based Shoebox Ministries helps homeless men, women and families in the Greater Phoenix area by providing sample-size toiletries, delivered in a shoebox. For information and needs, see www.shoeboxministry.org, or call 480-905-1610.
Potentially Hazardous Waste:
• Household batteries and CFL light bulbs. See www.batteriesplus.com (there’s a local store at 14202 N. Scottsdale Road) for recycling information.
• Household hazardous waste. The city of Scottsdale holds quarterly collection events; one is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 9191 E. San Salvador Drive (off Via Linda in Scottsdale Ranch), and the collection day after that will be Nov. 1, 2014. For information on this year’s collection date, or how to dispose of hazardous materials during the rest of the year, see www.scottsdaleaz.gov/recycle/hhwguidelines or call Solid Waste Management, 480-312-5600. (To find out what you can and cannot recycle in Scottsdale’s residential curbside mauve recycling containers, or throw out in the residential black garbage cans, see www.scottsdaleaz.gov/recycle, or call Scottsdale’s Solid Waste Department, 480-312-5600.)
• Medical waste and medications disposal. See www.scottsdaleaz.gov/recycle/medicalwaste for details on how to safely dispose of home-generated medical waste. To safely dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications, see www.scottsdaleaz.gov/recycle/Prescription_and_Non-Prescription_Medication_Disposal.
Getting rid of that other stuff …
• Business-generated cardboard. The city of Scottsdale has a cardboard recycling program for businesses in the Scottsdale Airpark; see www.scottsdaleaz.gov/recycle/airparkrecycling for information and drop-off location.
• Unwanted household items. Scottsdale has special programs for the following:
• Appliances (washers, dryers, ovens, dishwashers, etc.) monthly residential pickup service. Some restrictions apply, like requiring that compressors, Freon and oil be removed before recycling). To schedule a pickup, see www.scottsdaleaz.gov/recycle/boxapplianceinfo, or call 480-312-5600.
• Moving box collection services for new single-family home residents (one-time pickup only), see www.scottsdaleaz.gov/recycle/boxapplianceinfo, or call 480-312-5600 to schedule.
• Brush and bulk collections, see www.scottsdaleaz.gov/recycle/brushguidelines.
• Document shredding. The Police Officers of Scottsdale Association frequently holds document-shredding events for a suggested, modest donation. See www.scottsdaleaz.gov/police for information and schedule.
Happy 44th Annual Earth Day!
Joan Fudala is a Scottsdale-based community historian and author. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.