The Rotary Club of Waterdown, Ontario, collects old home appliances during their scrap metal drive in April. Photo by Robert Allen
Spring cleaning for a worthy cause? That’s the thinking of the Rotary Club of Waterdown, Ontario, Canada, which raised more than US$7,000 by recycling old home appliances, pots and pans, and more during a scrap metal drive in April.
Hundreds of people in their cars and trucks dropped off items, totaling about 47 tons and filling about 16 bins, says Wendy Hickey, a member of the club. Donations ranged from washers, dryers, and stoves to cookie sheets and muffin tins to old rusted tires.
“Microwaves, anything that has metal in it,” she explains. “We just rub our hands together when someone comes in with a truckload of old aluminum siding. It’s quite profitable.” This is good news for Hickey and her fellow Rotarians. The money raised goes to support the club’s projects, especially youth programs.
It was the third year for the project, the brainchild of longtime club member Jack Harris. He had become familiar with the scrap metal industry through his work, Hickey explains, and thought a drive could be a way for the club to raise money for its community and international projects throughout the year. The club worked with Thomson Metal & Disposal, a scrap metal company based in nearby Burlington.
“I bet 80 percent of our Rotary club was out there,” Hickey says. “Everybody comes out, whether they’re able to do any physical labor or they come out for moral support. It’s a nice community day.”
Rotarians and friends of Rotarians alike enjoyed the event – Hickey says that several community members have shown up the past few years just to pitch in and help out.
In addition to the scrap metal drive, the club hosted a bicycle swap at the event. More than 100 bicycles were donated. The most dilapidated ones were recycled with the rest of the metal, while community members were able to take home the others for a small donation.