Rotarians exploring new recycling concept

From left, Tim Eagan, Mark Will, Kathleen Egan and Julia Roy. (Photo submitted)

JOHNSTOWN –Glove Cities Rotary had two visitors from Colorado this week at their Dec. 5 meeting.

Tim and Kathleen Eagan, former residents of Gloversville, stopped in to the meeting while visiting family in the area.

The Eagans are very active in their club, Rotary of Evergreen Colorado, and they had a project to share with the organization.

Living in an unincorporated township without municipal services, the couple said they were dismayed to see people ruin the landscape by dumping recyclables in the beautiful natural setting of their town. Being Rotarians, the couple said they decided to get their club involved and do something about it.

They have created an annual event called Recycle Round Up where people can bring their recycles to them and they have them hauled away to be recycled or refurbished. This year at the Sept. 23 event, the organization took in 12,400 pounds of shredded paper, 53 bicycles for Trips For Kids, 6 pairs crutches for Crutches 4 Africa, 24,500 pounds of televisions and electronics for Goodwill, 2 1/2 tons of metals, 122 pounds of clothes, 24 cubic yards of Styrofoam, 86 tires and 6 car seats (which are apparently no good after 5 years.)

According to, making recycled raw materials takes less energy than processing the original raw materials: Making recycled aluminum saves 95 percent of the energy usually used to make aluminum from raw materials; recycled steel uses 60 percent less energy; recycled newspaper uses 40 percent less energy; recycled plastics use 70 percent less energy; and recycled glass uses 40 percent less energy.

Every ton of paper made from recycled materials saves 17 trees, about 450 gallons of oil and about seven gallons of water. Every ton of plastic that is recycled saves the equivalent energy of 1,000 to 2,000 gallons of gasoline and 7 million tons of metals recycled reduced greenhouse gas emissions at equivalent of removing 5 million cars from road for one year.

Manufacturing products from recycled materials often generate less air and water pollution than what would have been generated when the product was made from the original materials. For example, making recycled paper creates 74 percent less air pollution and 35 percent less water pollution than making paper directly from trees.

The Egans told members the event has brought the community together and done a real service for the environment in their area. The said they would love to share how they do it to help others create a similar event. The Egans can be reached through their Rotary’s web site or through its Facebook page @evergreenrotaryclub.

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. For more than 110 years, Rotary members have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end.

The Glove Cities Rotary meets every Tuesday at the Johnstown Holiday Inn at 12:15 p.m.