Hopedale' s First Recycling Center

    Recycling in Hopedale got started in the late eighties when Sarah Shonbrun and Debbie Dalton went
    to the Board of Health and asked if they'd be interested in having a program started. The board told
    them to go ahead, and they did. Many meetings were held over the next several months, and eventually
    a Saturday morning drop-off program was started. During the first few months it operated in the Town
    Hall parking lot, but before too long permission was granted to run it at the parking lot across the
    railroad tracks from the end of Depot Street.

      For several years, up until the time that curbside recycling began, the center was the busiest place in
    town on Saturday morning. We took newspaper, glass (separate barrels for clear, green and brown),
    plastic (numbers 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6), metal, egg cartons, car batteries, giveaway stuff, and probably a few
    other things that I've forgotten.

      When curbside came into effect, the center in the parking lot shut down for a couple of months and
    the reopened. At that point it became pretty much my thing (and main hobby before doing this website),
    along with a few other volunteers; particularly Lenny Volpicelli. The main thing we were doing then was
    taking metal, but we also did a few other items such as Styrofoam and giveaways.

      There was more to the center than the pictures above show, of course. but I haven't come across
    any. I may have some around and will add them if they turn up. After we had been there for a couple of
    years, I decided that some of the things that came in would make good decorations for the roof of the
    trailer; especially the swing set horses. Just about everything that went up there was what had been
    turned in, including Beethoven (second picture), airplane wings and tail (ceiling fan blades), fans,
    miniature toilet (I think it was a bank), and rebar, wire and clamps to hold these things in place.

      One of the things I liked best about the center was that it was a great place for picking. We had a
    number of regulars, and others who just happened to find something they needed when they came in
    to leave things off. I'm sure many thousands of dollars worth of items were rescued there. I was a fifth
    grade teacher at the time, and I used to get things I could use at school. Some were useful as is (a
    hand-cranked generator, milliammeters,  and speaker magnets), and others served as rainy day
    recess entertainment. I'd always have some screwdrivers and a few pair of ViseGrips in the room, and
    kids love to take things apart.

    The good thing about the recycling center was that it was open twenty-four hours a day. The bad thing
    was that it was open twenty-four hours a day. It was great for people to drop by and pick whenever it
    was convenient, but it also resulted in a lot of dumping of things we weren't set up to take; mattresses,
    box springs, furniture, tires, disposible diapers, clean-out-the-refrigerator stuff, toilets, propane tanks,
    etc. Eventually it had to be closed. The new center is off of Thwing Street, by the sewage treatment
    plant. It's open on Saturdays. Dan Malloy, April 2007.

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    When curbside recycling began, the drop-off
    center closed for a while, but started up again to
    take some of the items not taken at curbside.

    After a few years at the parking lot off of Depot Street, the
    new recycling center at the end of Thwing Street opened
    as described in the article above.