Suggested Community Activity: Make a Clean Sweep for Pesach

Everyone is busy cleaning for Pesach this time of year and the trash cans are overflowing! But, there may be many unwanted things you find in your home while clearing out that chametz that can be disposed of in other, more environmentally friendly ways.

Canfei Nesharim suggests that you organize a “Clean Sweep” program in your Jewish community to help people reduce waste during pre-holiday cleaning. Many items that would normally end up in a landfill during the pre-Pesach cleaning frenzy can actually be reused or recycled. There are many companies and organizations that collect and then reuse or refurbish these items. This program can actually help charitable organizations or even make money for your synagogue with your community’s collective trash!

All you have to do is:

  • decide which items you want to collect from the list below,
  • choose a convenient drop-off site,
  • publicize the program, and
  • have volunteers deliver (or mail) the collected items to the recipients.

One suggestion: Do not collect any very large or hazardous waste—leave that dangerous job to the professionals!

See one community’s  Clean Sweep Flier

Suggested Items to Collect and Organizations That Accept Them:

1. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
-Home Depot
-IKEA

2. Single-Use Batteries
-My Organic Market (D.C. area only)
-BatteryRecycling.com (mail-in program for a fee)
-Type in your zip code at Earth911.com to find a local place that accepts batteries

3. Cellular Phones
-Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (http://jcada.org/www/docs/5)
-PlanetGreenRecycle.com (will pay for collected phones)
-Check your local U.S. Post Office for free postage-paid “Mail Back” envelopes

4. Inkjet Cartridges
-PlanetGreenRecycle.com (will pay for collected cartridges)
-Check your local U.S. Post Office for free postage-paid “Mail Back” envelopes
-Office Depot
-Staples

5. Plastic Bags
-Whole Foods
-Check your local grocery store to see if they have a drop-off station

6. Toner/Laser Cartridges
-PlanetGreenRecycle.com (will pay for collected cartridges)
-Staples
-Office Depot

7. Electronic Devices: PDAs, Blackberries, Digital Cameras, iPods, MP3 Players, and Computer Items
-Check your local U.S. Postal Office for free postage-paid “Mail Back” envelopes
-Staples
-Office Depot

8. Metal Clothes Hangers
-Check to see if your local dry cleaner accepts used hangers
-Type in your zip code at Earth911.com to find a local place that accepts hangers

9. Clothing, Toys, Baby Products, and House ware Items
-Contact your local Jewish Federation, Jewish Social Service Agency or other community organization to find a local place (or gemach) that accepts these items to donate to needy families.

10. Rechargeable Batteries
-Staples
-Office Depot

Contact your local store to find out if they accept items at that particular location.

Check out Earth911.com to find local places to drop off many more recyclable items.

Happy Collecting and Chag Pesach Sameach!

Many thanks to Stephanie Frumkin for preparing these resources.

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