The kitchen sink

Once again, Islanders rally to keep our community trash and toxin free. On May 19, the City of Mercer Island held another one of its popular community recycle and collection events behind City Hall. It is an opportunity for Islanders to load up the family SUV and haul away accumulated junk and waste — some stuff that is difficult to get rid of these days. More than a thousand vehicles snaked down Gallagher Hill Road to drop off items both unwanted and potentially harmful.

Many Islanders save up for months for the big day. Many obviously held on to toxic substances such as motor oil and dead batteries in order to dispose of them properly.

All of the items dropped off will be reused or recycled by local companies, such as Stoneway Concrete, Seattle Iron and Metals, Ecolights and Goodwill. The stuff included:

39,300 pounds of scrap metal, electronic equipment

13,599 pounds of reusable goods for Goodwill

11,950 batteries

7,335 pounds of shredded paper

$1,000 donated to MI Youth and Family Services

900 pounds of non perishable foods

300 gallons of used motor oil

274 computer monitors

176 TVs

149 tires

40 propane tanks

19 toilets and sinks

18 refrigerators and freezers

In the true Island spirit of multi-tasking, the event combined several other chores. Volunteers collected cash and non-perishable food donations for Youth and Family Services. Others unloaded, sorted and bundled donated clothing and other items for charitable organizations.

It was a social event too — one with a distinct anthropological flavor. It is amazing what people have and what they throw away. Hooray to the city and Islanders, too.

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