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, (in 1991) 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 then
    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.

                                   Town Departments Menu                New Recycling Center                    HOME   

    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.

    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.