Norcross resident Don Purvis had an entire finished room in his basement full of junk. When he heard about the mammoth recycling event in Norcross, he knew it was an impetus for action. It was time for spring cleaning. “I was absolutely, positively inspired to clean,” he said.
He hauled old electronics, furniture and cans upon cans of paint to the event on Saturday and unloaded them at different stations around the downtown. Now the question remains: What to do with a new-found room in the house?
The event, which was held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 9, allowed residents to unload old furniture, shred up to five boxes of materials, drop off old electronics and—for the first time—get rid of old paint. While residents were there, they could also donate canned goods for the Norcross CAN DO drive or make cash donations to the cause.
The shredding truck, which can hold up to 10,000 pounds of materials, was getting full early in the day, with about 3,000 pounds shredded from 76 cars in the first hour alone. Organizer Philomena Robertson said she was pleased to see the response—and the line of cars going down the street.
Megan Martin from American Security Shredding, Inc. said she does an event like this about once a month, but that the Norcross clean up has one of the best turn outs. “It is amazing the way [Phil] gets the word out,” she said. “It is good because they are promoting security and recycling at the same time.”
The new paint recycling option seemed to be going strong at the mid-way point.
“We’ll take the paint, treat it and remix it, then it will be coming back to the community for art projects,” said Cedric Ward, a VP of Business Development with Williams Paint Recycling.
Connie Weathers of Sustainable Norcross wheeled around her car to unload 9 cans of paint taken from city buildings that are set for demolition or removal.
James M. Williams, “Chief Recycling Officer” at Williams Paint Recycling Company, explained the 48-hour process for taking cans, sorting them by color into drums then treating them, to get a low-VOC paint that can be used for all sorts of projects.
“Most people think that it will turn into a grey or black, but that’s not true,” Williams said. Instead, his final product comes out a calming Sweet Grass green, a warm Wild Honey or a soothing Ocean Wave light blue.
Boxy TVs were piled up in the parking lot of the community center, along with old Atari joysticks, 8-Track players and cassette players galore.
Chuck Davis from Atlanta Recycling Solutions was leading the effort to pack the oddly shaped electronics into a truck. He said he would drive the goods to his company’s warehouse, where they are separated into plastic and steel, then baled and sold to companies who can use them.
A woman drove up in a minivan and sat her old PC on the floor with a thud, ancient speakers dragging behind. When she drove away, her load was a little lighter.