PITTSFIELD – Although the weather has been less than ideal lately, a sure sign of spring in Pittsfield arrives this weekend.
Starting April 14 the town’s Re-Use/Recycling Center on Peltoma Avenue will be open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During late fall and winter, the building was only open one Saturday per month because it doesn’t have a working central heating system.
The building that houses the Re-Use/Recycling Center became available when the Lee-Doncet Veterans of Foreign Wars Post gave up their charter a few years ago due to lack of members. The organization built the post on town-owned land, with the stipulation that it would revert back to the municipality if they ever decided to disband.
The Re-Use/Recycling Center – staffed primarily by members of the Recycling Committee, the Maine Central Institute Go Green Club and various community volunteers – will mark its first anniversary on April 16.
The re-use service is based on the simple premise that if you don’t need an item, someone else probably does. There is no charge to bring anything to the site and everything you want to take home is free, although donations are gratefully accepted. The center accepts clean and useable small appliances, cups and dishes, glassware, non-upholstered furniture, tools and other household domestic items.
Electronics should still be taken to the town’s transfer station; and because of space considerations, clothing should be donated to the Pennywise Thrift Shop on Somerset Avenue, next to the First Congregational Church.
When a customer picks up items, they’re weighed rather than inventoried. “By doing this, we calculate how much would have gone into the landfill if someone hadn’t picked it up,” Town Manager Kathryn Ruth said.
From April through November last year, 14,731 pounds of re-use items were taken by customers in the first six months, saving $391.05 in disposal costs. Another $355.05 has been donated to the center for items picked up for a gross of $746.10.
During the same time frame, only $236.54 was spent in overhead, mostly for electricity. Ruth said that the added value of 409.25 hours of volunteer service, worth at least $10 an hour, “means that the value of the facility to the community has exceeded $4,600.”
The town will also have its annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 28 with a “green raffle” of a 55-gallon rain barrel, a compost unit large enough for an average family and a Wing Digger compost turner. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 and can be purchased at the re-use center or the town office.
Anyone who is interesting in working at the center should contact Recycling Committee member Jane Woodruff at 487-3343, Donnie Chute at the Recycling Center at 487-3361 or the town office at 487-3136.