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Holyoke stages city-wide book, CD, DVD drive

By Debbie Gardner

PRIME Editor

HOLYOKE If your spring cleaning regime results in a wealth of old books, CDs, DVDs and videos, the City of Holyoke wants to remind you that there's an easy way you can lighten your media load and help the environment, too.

Since October of 2006, the Department of Public Works (DPW) has partnered with a company called Got Books to provide for the recycling and re-use of hardcover and paperback books, as well as CDs and movies.

The Got Books donations container is located at the DPW at 63 Canal St. The public can drop off unwanted books and other media, except newspapers and magazines, from 7:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday - Friday.

"The program is not new, it's been there for awhile," Got Books Marketing Coordinator Michelle Bushee, said of the Holyoke donation site. "We're trying to reignite interest in some of our sites."

According to Bugbee, the for-profit company pays the city a set fee for each ton of books and media materials it recycles in this manner. The used materials are then sorted by Got Books and directed to several programs, including school donations, a weekly charity auction at the company's North Reading, Mass., site, an online book sale and most recently, a drive to send 25,000 books to servicemen and women stationed overseas.

Holyoke Superintendent of Public Works William Fuque said the Got Books donation container collected 15 tons of materials for recycling by the end of 2007, resulting in a payment of $560 to the city.

He said the monies from the Got Books recycling program are included in the city's General Funds budget.

But beyond the payments, he said the DPW is glad to find a place for these materials, which the regualr recycling program did not accept.

"[Bound books and paperbacks] were a part of the regular or waste stream where we had a problem," Fuque said.

"A lot of towns approach us when they learn about out services because it saves them money in recycling services," Bushee said of the ongoing program.

For more information about the programs of Got Books, including a fund-raising program for schools and organizations, visit or call 978-396-6026.