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New recycling effort saves money, helps others

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE Ever wonder what to do with that pile of records you no longer play, the college textbooks you don't need or the paperback books you've read? The city of Holyoke has a solution that will save the city money, raise money for charity and get those items to a new home.

The city's Department of Public Works is partnering with the Got Books program with a new recycling effort. From 7:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday residents and non-residents alike can bring soft and hardcover books, CDs, DVDs, videos, audio books, records, textbooks and computer software to Monday through Friday to the DPW's complex at 63 North Canal Street.

Timothy Price, the coordinator for the city's recycling program, explained to the Chicopee Herald that by taking these items out of the waste stream, the city will have less refuse to bring to the incinerator facility at Bondi's Island in Agawam a savings to the city.

Price said that unlike newspapers and magazines, that are included in the regular recycling program, hardcover books cannot be recycled unless their covers are removed, a task the city can't afford doing.

In terms of weight, books add up quickly and that increases costs to the city, he added.

Price said he has notified the city's School Department not to throw away out-dated textbooks, but to bring them to the Canal Street facility for recycling. The library has also been told of the program.

Besides magazines and newspapers, directories, catalogues, and damaged items are not accepted into the program.

Got Books picks up the items to be included in its weekly sale conducted Friday and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 35 Concord St. in North Redding. Liz Spinazola, the recycling coordinator for the programs, explained that schools and libraries are able to pick up items for free and the sale is open to the public with all items costing $1. The money made by the sale is donated to eight different charities.

The six-year-old program has 76 containers most in the eastern part of the state. Price said that locally the only other municipality participating in the program is Wilbraham.

For more information on the Got Books program call 978-664-6555 or log onto