By Laurelle Walsh
Earth Day is coming up next week on April 22, so Methow Recycles has designated April 18 – 25 as “Earth Week” to encourage everyone to help clean up one little corner of the community.
“Pick a spot that you love and go clean it up,” suggests Methow Recycles Executive Director Betsy Cushman.
Then, drop off the bagged trash and recyclables that you’ve picked up at the recycling center on April 21 or April 23 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., or at the Winthrop Town Trailhead on April 25 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Let them know that you’re participating in Earth Week clean up so that your name can be entered into a prize drawing.
Neighborhood streets, county roads and state highways are all in need of some attention right now, especially since the snow has melted, revealing months worth of litter that was under cover, Cushman said. She also hopes that volunteers will go out into areas that burned last summer — not necessarily roadsides — and pick up trash that was exposed when vegetation burned off.
“A lot of trash that was exposed after the fire is recyclable,” in particular metal, Cushman said. “Think about that when you’re planning where to go.”
A number of valley organizations that have “adopted” a section of road or highway will be cleaning up their sections next week, and Cushman said she may be able to place solo volunteers with groups that need extra helpers. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join a group.
Cushman asks that participants pre-sort trash from recyclables before bringing their bags to the center. A good technique is to carry two bags as you walk along, one for trash and one for mixed recyclables, she said.
Liberty Bell High School science students will once again be sorting and weighing the recyclables and trash that is brought in, and publishing the results on Methow Recycles’ website at a later date, Cushman said.
Last year over 1,500 pounds of litter was collected, 60 percent garbage and 40 percent recyclable, according to the students’ data. Students sorted and weighed 142 pounds of aluminum cans during Earth Week 2014, the energy equivalent of 207 gallons of gasoline, Cushman said.
They also kept track of participants and miles: 160 volunteers covered 61 miles of road, according to data collected. “It’s fun to get to know who has done some little section of road out there,” said Cushman.
Dates have also been set for Metal Drive 2015: May 2 and 3 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Cascade Concrete on Horizon Flats Road in Winthrop.
People are encouraged to drop off old metal appliances, motorized equipment, wire, cable, pipe, chain, scrap steel and iron, and non-ferrous metals such as copper pipe, aluminum doors and windows (without glass), irrigation pipe and metal roofing.
The sale of all metal collected during the drive supports Methow Recycles’ programs.
For more information about Earth Week or the Metal Drive, call the recycling center at 996-2696 or go to www.methowrecycles.org.