Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Rain doesn't dampen Earth Sunday event

Kim Pandina came to the Jewish Community Federation parking lot on Sunday afternoon with several years worth of old cell phones, a bag of unneeded pharmaceuticals and a bunch of No. 5 plastic containers.

'It\'s kind of like one-stop shopping,' she said of the Earth Sunday recycling event.

Cars started lining up 45 minutes before the start of this recycling collection, which was organized by the Jewish Community Federation, in partnership with Monroe County, Third Presbyterian Church, Greater Rochester Community of Churches, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, Islamic Center of Rochester and Rochester Interfaith Forum.

'There is certainly a pent-up demand,' said Monica Becker, a volunteer with the Jewish Community Federation.

 Volunteers at the Jewish Community Federation collected pharmaceuticals, electronics and No. 5 plastics, which are not recycled by Monroe County.

At the Third Presbyterian Church, people dropped off sneakers to be recycled into running tracks for schools in needy neighborhoods and shoes and boots for reuse by local migrant workers. Clothing was also collected to benefit Flower City Habitat for Humanity.

About 800 cars came through, depositing eight 45-gallon bags of sneakers; around 1,100 pounds of No. 5 plastics; one and a half truckloads of electronics, including 164 televisions; three-quarters of a truckload of clothes; two carloads of boots and shoes, and 430 pounds of pharmaceuticals, said Isobel Goldman, director of community relations for the Jewish Community Federation.

It rained non-stop during the four-hour event, and afterward, soggy teen volunteers gathered to reflect on how each of their faith traditions teaches them to protect the environment.

'One of the things we try to focus on is working towards the common good,' said Eileen O\'Connor Casey, who works for the Episcopal Diocese. 'Environmentalism is an important part of that goal.' Pandina, of Gates, appreciated the effort. 'I don\'t want my friends\' kids and grandkids living on top of landfills,' she said.