AYER/SHIRLEY -- OK, admit it. You have thrown your used batteries in the trash.
That is one reason that the and Ayer and Shirley Recycling committees, with help from the towns of Groton, Harvard, Littleton and Townsend, are sponsoring the Fifth Annual Recycling Your Reusables Day.
This year's event will take place, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, at Ayer Shirley Regional Middle School, located at 1 Hospital Road in Shirley.
"Don't throw those used batteries away," said Ayer Recycling Committee Chair Laurie Sabol in a recent Q&A about the event. "They are easy to recycle!"
Sabol said recycling your used batteries will be made even easier for you if you bring them to the recycling event, where there will be not one, but two battery recycling vendors ready to take them off your hands.
Inside a battery, metals react with chemical electrolytes to produce the battery's power. Recycling nonrechargeable batteries helps keep heavy metals out of landfills and the air. It also saves resources, because recovered plastic and metals can be used to make new batteries.
One of the vendors at Recycling Your Reusables will be Battery Solutions, which makes and distributes to-use recycling kits that make battery recycling easy, while helping you protect the environment.
Battery Solutions' iRecycle Kit includes everything you need to recycle your batteries and handheld electronics. You simply collect all dry-cell battery types and hand-held electronics together, without separating, and mail them to the company. Battery Solutions does the sorting, logistics, shipping, receiving and recycling.
"This is our no-hassle solution to help you ensure batteries and electronics are recycled properly and easily," reads the company's website.
Another vendor, Call2Recycle, operates the only free rechargeable battery and cellphone collection program in North America. Since 1996, Call2Recycle has diverted over 70 million pounds of rechargeable batteries from the solid waste stream and established a network of 30,000 public collection sites.
Both Battery Solutions and Call2Recycle will be available at the recycling event to collect household rechargeable and nonrechargeable batteries; rechargeable battery packs from cell phones, cameras, laptop computers, and power tools; batteries from handheld electronics such as cell phones, iPods, PDAs, and pagers; and, any other dry-cell batteries.
This Ayer-Shirley recycle-palooza, which is open to all, is to offer a one-stop location where people can recycle or put to reuse a multitude of common household items that otherwise might be thrown in the trash.
Each year has seen a little more participation, and Sabol says that she would love to have at least 300 cars come through this year.
"Every year is a fun challenge to identify new vendors who will attend to offer recycling for things we never thought could be recycled," she said.
"New things we're recycling this year include wine corks, greeting cards, race medals, soaps and shampoos, crayons, art supplies of all kinds, keys and Tyvek envelopes.
"Some of these (vendors) use the items as-is, and some repurpose them. Most are charitable organizations."
New vendors include Clean the World, which collects new, unwrapped bars of soap, unused soaps and bottled amenities from hotel stays; Crazy Crayons, which will take your unwanted, rejected and broken crayons, wrappers and all; DuPont Tyvek, which reuses used Tyvek envelopes; Extras for Creative Reuse, which accepts yarn, plastic, fabric, Mylar, tile, leather, children's paints and art supplies; and, Friends of the Pepperell Library, which accepts bicycles.
Other items that will be accepted include household goods, appliances, furniture, paper and media for shredding, rigid plastic toys and lawn furniture, Styrofoam, clothing, linen, shoes, leather goods and nylon hosiery.
Also accepted will be usable construction items, paint, tools, hardware, athletic shoes, books, CDs, DVDs, video games, electronics (for a fee), scooters, helmets, skis, wood pellet/bird seed bags, chip bags, granola bar wrappers and eyeglasses.
Shirley Recycling Committee member Pam Torres said that the committee depends upon volunteers to help make the annual event a success.
"We will need volunteers to bring refreshments, help unload cars, direct traffic and assist with nonperishables for Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, the suggested donation for admission.
"We would love to have more community participation for this great event. Scout troops, students, athletic teams and individuals are all welcome and needed," she said.
For a complete list of vendors and the extensive list of what they accept, visit http://recycleyourreusables.wordpress.com.
For information on vendors, contact Ayer Recycling Chair Laurie Sabol at 978-496-5839, or Ayerrecycles@gmail.com.