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Working Green at MIT - Working Group Recycling Committee

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Off campus resources

Cambridge resources

  • Cambridge Recycling Division's Donate and Recycle site lists local resources to recycle/reuse everything from appliances to computers, paint, clothing, propane tanks, electronics, and more.
  • Harvest Co-Op: This community-owned market has a selection of organic offerings, recycled content paper products, and incredible produce section which are sure to please. Editor's tip: Too many shampoo bottles? Have your reused bottles and jars weighed at the register and then refill them in Harvest's extensive health and beauty bulk section. In addition, you can also drop off your cell phones, non-alkaline batteries (not AA, AAA, AAAA, D cell) and old eyeglass at Harvest, which they recycle through Call2Recycle and New Eyes for the Needy.
  • Starbucks Grounds for Your Garden program was developed to reuse coffee grounds, the largest portion of its waste, for use as fertilizer in gardens. Coffee grounds can be applied, along with other materials, as a side dressing for vegetables, roses, and other plants. Coffee grounds also make an excellent addition to your compost bin by acting as a green material with a carbon-nitrogen (C-N) ratio of 20-1. Ask your local Starbucks store manager for more information.

Local and state resources

  • Craig's List is a free online community for sharing resources, job listings, pets, rideshares—everything under the sun. But we like the "For Sale" section, in which individual items, yard sale items, and more are posted for free or for
  • Earth911 lists links to recycling resources in your town, as well as local recycling events.
  • Freecycle is an online community open to all who want to reuse that special (or not so special) something rather than throw it away. Read the guidelines before posting and remember: everything posted must be free.
  • Freecycle™ Cambridge
  • Freecycle Boston
  • MassDEP website's recycling page outlines Massachusetts recycling policies and has links to other local resources.
  • New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services website's recycling page outlines New Hampshire recycling policies and has links to other NH resources.

Neighborhood Reusing

Share resources and goods

  • Create a departmental or neighborhood area to exchange unwanted or surplus office supplies.
  • Donate unwanted household goods and clothing to a charity or non-profit organization such as Rosie's Place, the Elizabeth Stone House, or the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence.
  • Have or attend a yard sale.
  • Rent, borrow, or share large equipment, snow blowers, lawn mowers, and other large equipment with your neighbors, coworkers, and friends.
  • Contact your town's Department of Public Works to find out if there is a community Swap Shed where residents can bring or pick up household items. If they don't have one, request that they set one up.

To recycle specific items

Batteries and Cell Phones

  • Call2Recycle™ is a program developed by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a non-profit dedicated to recycling used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones. Through this national program and with the help of local retailers and community partners, consumers can drop off these items at convenient locations, such as Harvest Co-Op, to be recycled in an environmental-friendly way.
  • Staples offers a battery drop off (for rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries) at all stores.
  • Donate your old cell phone to MassRecycle through Charitable Recycling's cell phone recycling program. All phones, regardless of age or condition, will be accepted. Many phones are donated to shelters for abused adults and children so they may have 911 emergency only communication. Charitable Recycling also provides cell phones to medical patients who are awaiting organ transplants. Some phones are refurbished and redeployed in areas of the world where there are no land lines or where the cost of a new phone is prohibitive. Phones that cannot be refurbished or donated are disposed of in an environmentally-responsible manner. Visit MassRecycle for drop off locations and directions.

Computers and electronics

  • MassDEP's computer recycling page lists local dropoff information.
  • Purchase any qualifying Apple computer or monitor and receive free recycling of your old computer and monitor — regardless of manufacturer.
  • Visit the NRC (National Recycling Coalition's Electronics Recycling Initiative) website for information on recycling all sorts of electronic equipment. The site also provides links to conferences and events around the country. The goal of the initiative is to promote the recovery, reuse and recycling of obsolete electronic equipment, and to encourage the design, manufacture and purchase of environmentally responsible electronic equipment.
  • Solutions At Work was created 16 years ago by a group of homeless people to provide a voice for them and to empower participants to break the economic chains that bind people in homelessness. Their Get Connected! Program accepts donations of working computers, printers, faxes, scanners and VCRs. These are refurbished with the help of volunteers and given to people transitioning out of homelessness. There is a drop-in computer center in the basement of Old Cambridge Baptist Church at 1151 Massachusetts Avenue where participants can use computers or learn new skills and programs. Solutions At Work also distributes cars, bicycles, children's clothing and interview-appropriate clothing for adults.

Eyeglasses

  • New Eyes for the Needy is a nonprofit organization that distributes donated eyeglasses to people in developing countries.

iPods

  • Apple's iPod recycling program, conducted through Apple's retail stores, offers environmentally friendly disposal and a 10% discount on the purchase of a new iPod.