Across the country we are seeing recycling days pop up in small towns and big cities alike on a regular basis. And, what is even more impressive than the spike in events is the amount of items that are collected, the sum of hours that residents volunteer and the number of lives that are changed by the simple but important act of recycling. The sixth annual Zero Waste Day in Tewksbury, MA, held on September 27, not only saw the town’s own residents recycling items, but donors also traveled from more than a dozen neighboring communities throughout the region. The event, which took place about 25 miles northwest of Boston, was held in an efficient, drive-thru format to provide residents with a quick and easy way to pass along the items that they no longer need. More than a dozen local organizations, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bikes Not Bombs, Electronic Recyclers International and Project Home Again, were on site to graciously accept donations and recyclables. More than 50 volunteers, including those from the Tewksbury Recycling Committee and Tewksbury Congregational Church, assisted with car unloading and distribution to simplify the process. Donations from local businesses and individuals from the community all have made the annual Zero Waste Day a major success in Tewksbury. In all, the event saw a nearly 40% increase in participants from 2013. ERI recycled nearly 21,000 pounds of electronic waste (an increase of more than 110% from 2013) and 3,600 books were collected to benefit local nonprofit More Than Words. Bikes Not Bombs amassed nearly 100 bikes for its causes. It is clear that Zero Waste Day would not be possible without the generous help from the community, and Tewksbury is proof of a community banding together to reduce, reuse and recycle. Even with a small team of coordinators and a bit of education, your town can be a recycling leader! Do you think your town or city should host a recycling day? The Tewksbury Zero Waste Day website provides tools and a simple calendar to help you get started to planning an event within a six-month time period. That, of course, is perfect timing for spring cleaning! Tewksbury’s seventh annual Zero Waste Day is tentatively scheduled for September 28, 2015. All images courtesy of Tewksbury Zero Waste Day.