No one could be connected with Devens in any way and not be aware of Dona Neely, diminutive yet enthusiastic director of the Devens Eco-Efficiency Center.
Through her work at the center, Dona teaches businesses about the value of reuse, that one man's trash is likely another man's treasure. Through her efforts, businesses are saving money both through avoiding costs of trash disposal and getting materials they need, that someone else does not.
Whether Bill Plunkett, coordinator of operations for the Ayer Shirley Regional School District, knows Dona, we can't say. But we think his plan for the no-longer-needed books and classroom furniture at the high school would win from her a smile.
The school district found two companies to handle these still usable items. IRN in Concord, N.H., took the 1,000-plus pieces of furniture, which will end up with relief agencies and global-aid groups around the globe.
Big Hearted Books in Sharon will give the books to groups in need or sell them wholesale. Less than two percent will end up in landfills.
Plunkett said this reuse of resources was a priority for the district in handling its castoffs.
It would seem that Plunkett, and those working with him, may have taken a page from the handbook of Dona Neely, one of a small army of locals dedicated to reuse v. disposal.
If you have something still useful that you no longer need, call Dona, who "helps businesses and organizations reduce their environmental impacts and operating costs through education, collaboration and technical assistance.
She can be reached at 978-772-8831, ext. 3304.
Big week ahead
Opponents of the natural-gas pipeline proposed to leave a very large footprint through Ashby, Townsend, Pepperell and Groton are holding a resistance walk from Richmond to Dracut, ending with a march to the Statehouse to deliver petitions signed by the many opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Please see the story on Page 1 in the Groton Landmark, Pepperell Free Press and Townsend Times and consider taking part. The more voices heard on Beacon Hill, the clearer the message will be.