Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Recycling Heaven

For the last twelve months, Future Weather Productions has been saving all of the metals and plastics that can't be recycled curbside. While Philly’s recycling program will take Plastics #1 and #2 (soda bottles and milk jugs), there are 5 other types of plastic that we’ve been accumulating for a while now. This pile of recyclables had grown to the point of being clutter, so we decided to finally clear out some space and make the drive to Recycling Services in Pottstown, PA.

We loaded up the car and set out on Saturday, enjoying the beautiful weather during the hour-long drive from Philadelphia. We expected a pretty straightforward trip. (How exciting could recycling styrofoam and old yogurt tubs be?) But when we arrived at the end of a sleepy street in Pottstown, our expectations were definitely surpassed.

Founded in 1971 by Jim Crater, Recycling Services, Inc. (RSI) is a non-profit recycling center that collects numerous materials and resells them to be recycled and reused. RSI is an extensive operation, accepting glass, metals, papers, plastics, tires, textiles, electronics, and even vegetable oil (which is used to make biodiesel). The company dedicates two days a week towards public collection of recyclable goods (they charge an $8 per car gate fee), and if our trip was any indication, they serve hundreds of people on any one of those days.

RSI's staff was friendly and knowledgeable. We were impressed by how easily they helped us sort some of our more mysterious plastic items. While they don't take #7 plastics (that mysterious "other" category) or toothpaste tubes, we still ended up recycling a massive amount. Not only did we learn a lot about our consuming habits (we really need to curb the takeout habit), but we witnessed how people can come together in the effort to minimize their impact on the Earth.

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