Local Organizations and Schools to Invited to Porter County’s Reuse Fair,

    Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction invites non-profit organizations and schools to register for its Earth Day Reuse Fair, scheduled from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in conjunction with the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Rd., Valparaiso.
     The event aims to connect participants with needed supplies from community members who have these materials or items they want to discard.
     “Reuse fairs are popular in Canada,” said Donna Stuckert, public education coordinator for Porter County Recycling. “The idea is to develop and advertise an extensive wish list for participating organizations and schools who want specific items and have a day where the public brings them in.”
     She said participants could need items like office supplies or materials for crafts and projects, like buttons, shoe boxes, dishware, keys, cans, old jewelry, magazines, milk jugs, and many items others usually throw in the trash.
     “We are promoting reuse,” Stuckert said. “It saves organizations money, diverts items from landfills, and gives people a reason to clean out clutter and pass their items along to others who want them.”
     Participation is limited. Organizations and schools interested in participating can visit www.PorterCountyRecycling.org and register their wish lists.
     According to Stuckert, last year’s Earth Day Reuse Fair was very successful.
     “The Washington Park Zoo was one of the great beneficiaries of the Reuse Fair last year,” she said. “They are participating again with another extensive wish list.”
     Stuckert said the zoo is asking for items, such as animal books for children and adults; baby toys for infants such as rattles, hoops, crib toys; bird feeders and houses; plastic decoy animals; perfumes; yard decorations; shredded paper; and cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper, among dozens of other things.
     “Most enrichment materials that the zoo uses are everyday items that can be recycled and reused for our animals,” said Jamie Huss, zoo director. “These donations support enrichment and better the lives of our animals.”
     Working Bikes and Michigan City High School are also on the list of recipients in 2018. In a few weeks, Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction will advertise the completed wish list to the public.
     “If your school or organization needs items that don’t have to be new or items that are normally discarded, we can add them to the growing list and ask the public to bring them to the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration,” Stuckert said.
     For more information on the event, call 219-465-3819. Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction is an agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life by providing services and educational programs which help residents reduce, reuse, and recycle.

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