Sustainability Initiatives

New Recycling Station

Check out this amazing new recycling station from the Town of Blacksburg which is now installed in the lobby at the Thrift Shop!

Plastic bag use-it’s a US DOT requirement for transporting hazardous materials. It is not safe to do otherwise and the recycling vendor won’t accept them if they are not bagged individually. We agree that we should be limiting the use of single use bags, but if it is a requirement for transport, we have to comply. On balance we feel that removing hazardous materials from the environment outweighs the problems associated with the single use bags. We will reach out to the recycling firms and ask them what happens to the bags during the recycling process.

The workstation sign says to recycle your “rechargeable batteries” here.

Single use alkaline batteries are not hazardous and they can be thrown away as trash. MORE INFORMATION HERE

It is time consuming to individually bag the batteries, CFLs and ink cartridges. However, it is not safe to store batteries mixed all together. It is a fire hazard.

With respect to the CFLs, the bags will prevent hazardous chemicals (Mercury) from releasing into the air should the CFL break. GOOD NEWS –  the CFL bulb recycling vendor now says that we can put multiple CFLs in each bag.

The ink cartridges must be bagged so that the ink does not leak all over the place. MORE GOOD NEWS – the vendor now says that we can place more than one ink cartridge in each bag.

The workstation is designed to make the process as easy and as safe as is possible. This is not to say we think this is an easy process for people trying to do the right thing and recycle these items. There is no other way to do this safely and in compliance with vendor/US DOT requirements.

Are Alkaline Batteries Toxic? Can you toss them in the Trash?
According to the EPA, it is perfectly acceptable to throw away single use alkaline batteries. They contain manganese, steel and zinc, all of which are naturally occurring metals that pose no threat to the environment. They also do not exhibit any of the criteria that would classify them hazardous by the EPA: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity and toxicity. Therefore, they are not listed as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and can be safely disposed of in household trash or general refuse.
More information HERE

Textiles/Clothing Donations

Unfortunately the Y Thrift Shop can not accept stained/unusable items.
Our recycler re-processes the material.
Stained, torn, or extreme wear is not re-useable.
We are not aware of anyone who will take the items. (The one that we used to take “damaged material” – approximately 8 years ago – stopped due to prohibitive costs and lack of sources).
We do not know of any others who can take these items other than to be trashed.


WHAT WHERE                NOTES                  
Textiles (gently used household items to include books, clothing, housewares, blankets, toys, etc.) Thrift Shop
Please deliver to Thrift Shop dock during business hours.
Electronics (working & non-working)
TV's (from Mont. County residents only)
 Thrift Shop
Please deliver to Thrift Shop dock during business hours.
Batteries (Rechargeable batteries only)  Thrift Shop
Bring inside to Recycling Station. Each item will need to be individually bagged. Bags and tape will be provided.
 CFL's, Ink Jet cartridges, rechargeable batteries  Thrift Shop
Bring inside to Recycling Table. Each item will need to be individually bagged. Bags and tape will be provided.