Archive for January, 2019

Does it spark joy?

Posted on: January 22nd, 2019 by Catherine

Bay Village Observer by Jennifer Hartzell

If you know what the title of this column is referring to, you are one of the millions of people who have tuned in to Netflix’s new show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” Marie Kondo is a tidying expert and the author of the best-selling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” Her new Netflix show has propelled her into stardom.

It has been reported in major news outlets that since the release of her show, thrift stores nationwide have seen an increase in donations. Isn’t that amazing? This show (which is great, you should watch it) has created such a flurry of people cleaning out their homes that charities such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army are benefiting!

I am also encouraged that the increase in donations means that people who are “tidying up” their homes are seeking ways to donate the stuff they want to get rid of instead of trashing it. Yay! If you haven’t seen her program or are not familiar with her method, she advises that when deciding whether to discard an item from your home, you should pick it up and look at it and if the item does not “spark joy” in your heart, it should not stay in your home. If the item does not spark joy, you should thank it for its service then let it go.

So, if you are one of the millions of people out there looking to tidy up and use Marie Kondo’s fabulous method to do so, please seek environmentally friendly ways to dispose of your unwanted items and junk. Not only can you donate to Goodwill and thrift stores, you can put clothing that is too old to be reused into your Simple Recycling bags and put it curbside. You can donate small appliances to Goodwill and also put those into your Simple Recycling bags.

If you have a broken computer or other office equipment, check with your city when you can drop off those items to the service department for responsible disposal and recycling. If you have old TVs, you can bring these to a Best Buy store (they charge a $25 fee per TV) or E-Waste LLC located in Hudson. Books that are in good condition can be donated to local libraries, schools and community centers. Unwanted text books and other books can be recycled at Caraustar Recycling in Cleveland and other locations. Please check and enter in the item you are looking to donate into their search tool and responsible recycling and disposal options will pop up. 

I would like to take Marie Kondo’s method a step farther now. When you are considering purchasing new items for your home, including clothing, really take a minute to look at the item and ask yourself if it not only “sparks joy” but if it will provide the service you are looking to get from it for a long time. By considering each and every purchase and taking time to make sure you are buying quality products that will last a long time, you will in turn help the earth.

I have written about the environmental problem of “fast fashion” before. The popularity of low-cost, low-quality clothing has exacerbated the problem as humans do not have a great way of dealing with so much unwanted clothing. This can also be said for so many other items that are cheaply made and easily broken or discarded.

Think about the items purchased at dollar stores. They are all low quality, so when they break or are no longer usable, people have no problem just trashing them because they were so cheap to begin with. This type of mentality and way of shopping is creating a ton of waste that ends up at the landfill.

When you are shopping, I urge you to mindfully consider your purchase and if it will be a good investment for your money and for the earth. Even if it’s a $1.50 shirt from Old Navy, please consider its long-term value and impact on the earth.  Remember, bringing more items into your home means that one day you will be looking at it again, holding it, and asking if it “sparks joy.” It’s better to take that step before you even buy it.

If each of us took just a little time to be mindful of our purchases, there would inevitably be a lot less waste in the world.

Coventry to start textile recycling program this spring

Posted on: January 21st, 2019 by Catherine

Kendra Port Jan 18, 2019

COVENTRY –– This spring Coventry is expected to join cities and towns throughout the state in an effort to cut back on solid waste and increase their recycling through Waste Zero and Simple Recycling’s curbside textile recycling program.

As part of the program, which comes at no cost to the town or taxpayers, residents will receive flyers accompanied by two pink plastic bags. The idea is that residents can fill these bags with unwanted textiles, things like clothing, bedspreads, handbags, hats and curtains, in order for them to be recycled.

The idea is that by putting the items out to the curb, residents are putting less into their trash. The town currently pays about $47 per ton to dispose of its waste with the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Center, so the reduction in solid waste will be beneficial to saving taxpayer money, according to Coventry Department of Public Works Director Kevin McGee.

Waste Zero Representative Savannah Harik gave the Coventry Town Council a presentation on the program Monday night, and all members were open to giving it a try, particularly because the program comes at no cost to the town.

“We help cities and towns save money by decreasing their trash and increasing their recycling,” said Harik.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Harik said, about 85 percent of textiles are thrown in the trash even though they are perfectly reusable and recyclable.

“Getting this material out of the waste stream is just one way that we can cut down on what’s going into our landfill, save money and improve the environment,” she said. “Clothing is actually one of the top five contaminates in single stream recycling.”

Harik said Waste Zero partnered with Simple Recycling to address this unique issue. It’s perfect for anyone looking to get rid of clothes that no longer fit, “the one shoe or sock you can never find a match for,” she explained.

The program is expected to begin in the spring, McGee said, and will start with all residents receiving mailers along with two pink plastic bags to fill and put out to the curb on the same day their regular recycling is picked up. A Simple Recycling truck who travels the different routes throughout town every day will follow existing recycling routes.

When the folks from Simple Recycling come to pick up the bags they leave more behind, attached to the homeowner’s recycling bins so they don’t blow away. More bags can be ordered by phone or online.

The program services 23,000 Rhode Islanders right now, and more than 4.5 million households nationwide.

“The program has absolutely no cost to the town or residents,” said Harik. “So the collection is free, the bags are free. There are never any processing fees. They’ll actually pay the town $20 per ton of the material that they collect. It’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s better than residents throwing it in the trash and contaminating the recycling.”

“The department of public works is currently paying $47 per ton for waste disposal,” said Kevin McGee. “So the more we are able to divert out of our waste stream is less we have to pay in our budget for solid waste and trash. By doing this, it’s just one more tool in our toolbox on working to reduce the overall cost of our waste disposal.”

McGee said he does not believe the program will have any adverse or negative effects on the operation of donation bins throughout town where residents can drop off unwanted clothing items.

“People who throw items in the bins will still do the same,” said McGee. “This is for the one to two items you’re not going to bring down to a box and it’s going to go in the trash.”

Other items Simple Recycling will accept in the bags include coats, jackets, jewelry, toys, pictures, mirrors, tools, silverware, dishes, pots and pans and glasses. The bulk of the material will become rags and insulation, and sometimes resold at thrift stores.

Councilors appeared to like the idea of the program and agreed to move forward in the spring (April to May) timeframe.

“Some people do save their clothes and donate them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill,” said Coventry Town Council President Kerry McGee. “I don’t think it’s going to have a big effect on that. I like the idea that there’s no cost to the town.”

“Coventry has a lot of blue collar employees,” said councilor Gary Cote. “I throw away a lot of clothing every year. Usually if I’m throwing it away it’s because nobody wants to wear it, including me.”

Harik said the company will collect textiles even if they’re totally stained or ripped and torn.

“If we approve this program I would like to see some kind of report from you in six months,” said councilor Ann Dickson. “On how well it’s going and whether you recommend we continue it or not because this is just one thing we’re asking our residents to put out to the curb, and I’m not sure how amenable they’re going to be about doing this.”


Posted on: January 21st, 2019 by Catherine

Town of Rochester – Simple Recycling January 18, 2019

Our Simple Recycling Program is scheduled to start
January 18, 2019 for those who normally recycle on week A.
Those who recycle on Week B, will start January 26, 2019.


For more information, or to request additional bags, contact
Simple Recycling by visiting their website,, by calling 866-835-5068
or emailing Simple Recycling at [email protected].

How Simple Recycling works:
STEP ONE:    Fill the pink bag with used items (see list of acceptable items below).
STEP TWO:  Set your bags out before 7 AM on your regular recycling collection day by the recycling bin (at least 5 feet away from the recycling bin).
STEP THREE:  A Simple Recycling driver will pick up your bag(s) and leave a replacement bag(s) behind.


       What items are collected?

                * Clothing- men’s women’s and children’s
                * Coats, jackets and shoes
                * Jewelry
                * Purses, belts
                * Hats
                * Toys 
                * Pictures
                * Mirrors
                * Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags
                * Drapes, curtains
                * Tools
                *  Silverware, dishes, pots and pans
                * Glasses
                * Backpacks
                * Small appliances (under 50 lbs)
                * Radios
                * Irons, hair dryers
                * Lamps         


Need more pink bags?  Call Simple Recycling at 866-835-5068

Questions on acceptable items?  Call Simple Recycling at 

To view informational video on Simple Recycling click here


You can view more information by visiting Simple Recycling’s website.   You may also call Simple Recycling with any questions or concerns at 866-835-5068 or you may email Simple Recycling at [email protected].

From clothes to pans, Rochester to start ‘Pink Bag’ recycling

Posted on: January 16th, 2019 by Catherine

For the original article, click HERE

Daniel Monahan Jan 14, 2019

ROCHESTER — In an effort to go green, Rochester residents will be asked to start thinking pink. That’s because the town’s “pink bag” program starts this week, a plan which allows residents to fill bags with dry clothing, shoes or household items for recycling. 

Through a contract with Simple Recycling and Waste Zero, the town is implementing a new program on Jan. 18 aimed at reducing the level of recyclable material being thrown away or collecting dust in homes. 

Simple Recycling is a for-profit recycler which offers residents an easy way to keep usable materials from heading to the landfill. Waste Zero produces the bags and handles the education aspect, while Simple Recycling processes the materials.

On Monday, Jan. 14, Selectmen said that residents will be receiving their first pink bag in the mail. Those pink bags are to be filled with clothing, shoes, jewelry, cloth toys, blankets, coats and jackets and a variety of items typically thrown away.

According to Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar, items placed in the 30-gallon pink bags do not need to be in good condition, but should be clean and dry.

“It coincides with your recycling day,” Szyndlar said. “The Simple van follows the same route as our existing ones.”

Szyndlar said that the program with Simply Recycling is at no cost to residents or the town. For its participation in the program, Rochester will actually be paid $10 for every ton recycled — meanwhile every ton in the recycling bin costs the town, she said. 

Simple Recycling pays for the collected items and either sells them to charities, donates them to people in need, or processes them into raw materials such as insulation.

“This is money in your pocket, the recycling bin is money out of your pocket,” said Chair Greenwood Hartley. “So, fill these up, put them on the side of the road next to the recycling bin.” 

Single-stream recycling is becoming more stringent, Szyndlar said, and the town has to pay when items can’t be recycled.

Once the pink bag is picked up, a replacement will be left with the homeowner for free. To request additional bags from Simple Recycling, fill out the form here.

Middletown Kicks Off Recycling Partnership

Posted on: January 8th, 2019 by Adam Winfield
By Chris Allen | on December 21, 2018

More than two months after the Middletown Town Council voted to partner with an Ohio-based company to collect discarded clothing and other textiles, Middletown rolled out its new recycling program on Dec. 10 by mailing pink plastic trash bags to residents that can be filled and picked up curbside free of charge.
At the urging of Middletown Recycling Coordinator and Operations and Facilities Manager Will Cronin, the council voted on Sept. 4 to authorize Town Administrator Shawn Brown to seal an agreement with Simple Recycling, a company that partners with a number of cities and towns across the country.
Head to Newport This Week to read the full story
en English