Community groups gathered on Jan. 9 to help Marysville recycle some of their leftover holiday cardboard and plastic foam.
This is the first time this group has put together this kind of post-holiday recycling event, which was originally scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. but had to stop taking material about halfway through because too much came in from the community.
“I appreciate everyone coming out here rather than trying to throw it in the dump, which is the whole purpose here,” said Glenn Smith, a member of the Marysville Sunrise Rotary Club and one of the main organizers of the event.
Smith has helped with the annual Shred-a-Thon in Marysville for many years, where he helps gather plastic foam to be recycled.
The local Rotary Club and Smith decided the service could also be helpful right after the Christmas season this year.
They partnered with the Creation Caretakers of Marysville United Methodist Church, Everett Community College’s Students for Environmental Action and the Marysville Community Food Bank to create the new event.
“It went way better than we ever expected,” said Smith.
“They had to stop because it was too much. If you just look at the amount here and [our truck] is not going to hold it all,” said Bev Anderson, a volunteer with the Creation Caretakers.
At noon, large piles of plastic foam and cardboard had already been put up around the group’s nearly full trailer.
“We do this at the Shred-a-Thon and we usually fill our trailer once and you can see how much more material we have this time, not to mention the cardboard,” said Smith.
Community members began bringing in their own trucks and other resources to help move the excess material.
Smith said the amount was a little overwhelming but also said “it’s really great for recycling.”
He said you never know how many people will come to an event that hasn’t been held before, but he was still shocked at the amount of plastic foam received.
“I’m more than surprised, I’m just stunned. It’s unbelievable how much stuff we got here,” he said.
Volunteer Cathy Rosine stopped to drop off some plastic foam but she was too late by the time she arrived.
“I’m pretty impressed with the amount. It shows there is definitely a need here. We could use a plastic foam recycling place in Marysville so they don’t have to drive it to Kent,” she said.
Laura Wild, a member of the Creation Caretakers of Marysville United Methodist Church, an advisor to the Everett Community College’s Students for Environmental Action Club and one of the organizers for the event, said they supported the event to reduce the amount of plastic foam that ends up in landfills.
“We wanted to help because we are concerned about the environmental impacts of our waste stream and we know that Styrofoam right after Christmas often goes to landfills,” said Wild.
Estimates vary as to how long plastic foam takes to decompose, but even the shortest estimates say plastic foam will last hundreds of years before it begins to degrade.
“I think this is a really good introduction to the size of the problem,” said Wild.
Marysville Sunrise Rotary president Edward Chea was happy with the turnout.
“This is an amazing event and I hope that we can continue it,” he said.
He wanted to thank all the groups that came together for it.
“This could not be done without all the support we have from the church, Rotary and all the sponsors that helped out today,” said Chea. “Especially Glenn Smith, the head of all this and he did an amazing job."