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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


What to Do With That Shoebox Full of Old Batteries: Recycling Returns to Wooster Green Fair

March 23, 2012

WOOSTER, Ohio -- Visitors can drop off cell phones, computers, compact fluorescent lamps and other household items for recycling at Ohio State University’s fifth annual Wooster Campus Scarlet, Gray, and Green Fair. The event takes place on April 17 — during Earth Week — at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster.

The free service “has always been hugely popular, with cars lining up early” in previous years, said Gwen Covert, head of the fair’s planning committee.

The fair’s drive-through Recycling Station, located near the center’s main entrance, will take in the following materials:

  • Computer equipment, including desktop and laptop computers, printers, fax machines, monitors, keyboards, mice, hard drives, floppy drives, CDs, and circuit boards. Hard drives will be shredded at the recycler’s warehouse.
  • Paper, including newspapers, magazines and telephone books. Up to two boxes full of confidential or sensitive documents can be dropped for secure shredding on-site.
  • Cell phones, but Covert said to first consider donating them to a charity for use by soldiers or victims of violence or natural disasters.
  • Household fluorescent light tubes and compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs.
  • Household and rechargeable batteries, including nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, nickel zinc and small sealed-lead types.
  • Prescription drugs for humans or pets, which the Wayne County-based Medway Drug Enforcement Agency will safely dispose of, and by doing this will keep them off the streets and out of lakes, streams and landfills. Medway staff say it’s OK to bring a drug in its original container, but black out or scratch off any personal information on the label. Some over-the-counter medicines can be dropped off as well. But needles, syringes, thermometers, aerosol cans, personal care products, hydrogen peroxide and biohazardous materials won’t be accepted.

Sanmandy Enterprises of Creston will process the paper. Tri County Recycling of Wooster will handle the computer equipment, cell phones, fluorescent lights and batteries.

Covert said the station’s goal is to promote recycling awareness and teach people what types of items are recyclable.

“The message is simple,” she said. “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.”

Admission to the fair is free and open to the public. Hours are 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Covert calls the fair a celebration of all things sustainable — not just recycling but biofuels, local foods, composting, gardening, organic farming, renewable energy and more. “Green is for life!” is the theme. More than 60 exhibitors will be there, with more than 2,000 visitors expected.

For more information, call 330-263-3700 or visit the fair’s website,

Coordinating sponsors are Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; the college’s research and outreach arms, OARDC and Ohio State University Extension, respectively; and the Wayne County Sustainable Energy Network.

Financial sponsors include the coordinating sponsors plus about 20 area businesses and nonprofits.

Stay current on green matters through the college’s sustainability blog at

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Kurt Knebusch
Gwen Covert