May 30 2012 12:00 AM

Annual community recycling event happens Saturday in East Lansing

Scrap metal, cardboard, used tires, old medications and broken refrigerators sound like ingredients for a landfill. But on Saturday these items and more will instead be collected, reused and recycled as part of a recycling event called Project Pride.

Every year since 1994, Project Pride has been working to help East Lansing residents clean up recyclable materials and reusable items from their homes in an effort to improve the community and protect the environment. Originally, only a limited number of recyclable materials were accepted, but over the years, the list has greatly expanded.

“Every year we add something new,” explained Susan Schmidt, who will be serving her 16th year as volunteer coordinator for Project Pride. “Last year we added a shredder for paper personal documents, and this year we have two new things we’re pretty excited about.”

Used prescription eyeglasses and reading glasses are among this year’s new additions. “We will re-use them for people who would never have the money to be able to get glasses,” Schmidt said. She explained that they will be collected by Project Pride and transported to be cleaned by prisoners in Ionia county. They will then be sorted according to their prescription level and shipped across the globe to third-world countries.

Also new on Project Pride’s collection list are prescription medications and drugs. “In the old days, they used to get dumped down the toilet, but we know now that has created resistant microbes in the water,” Schmidt said. Certified pharmacists and a police officer will be onsite this year to collect old and unwanted medications and dispose of them using environmentally safe methods.

It is estimated that around 800 carloads and several tons of materials will be collected and kept out of landfills during this one-day event. Anyone interested in joining Project Pride’s efforts as a volunteer may call (517) 333-3587 for more information.

East Lansing residents may bring their recyclable materials and used household items — along with proof of residency —to the Abbot Center on Abbot Road to drop them off for Project Pride from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday. 

Detailed information about what items and materials will be accepted can be found at

Project Pride

8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 2

Abbott Center, 1400-1500 Abbot Road, East Lansing

(517) 337-3247, or email