'Stuff' finds new homes on first Precycle Day
As Candice Hannah loaded the two-wheeler into the back of her van, she thanked the previous owner, whose children are grown. Though it was in great condition, Jim Baker just no longer needed the bike.
Hannah said that now she will be able to join her two young children when they ride their bikes around their Worthington neighborhood.
"I'm very pleased to find this," she told Baker, who also gave her a coat rack and three tennis rackets.
The exchange took place in front of the Baker home in Worthington Estates on April 21. That may have been the eve of Earth Day, but in Worthington it was also Precycle Day.
The brainchild of Sustainable Worthington leader Fred Yaeger, Precycle Day was time set aside for giving away unneeded items.
The concept was simple. Residents rounded up usable items they no longer needed and placed them along the sidewalk. From 6 p.m. on Wednesday until 8 p.m. Thursday, anyone could take away whatever they needed – at no cost.
And take it away they did. Especially on Wednesday evening, Worthington streets were filled with people out to see what they could find. Yaeger said that almost everything found a new home.
"Everything" meant small items from books and flower pots to large items like furniture and refrigerators.
The stuff lining the streets included sofas, swings, toys, pots and pans, roller blades, computer equipment, medicine cabinets, desks, file cabinets, skis and poles, strollers and the bathroom sink.
The sink went along with wood, doors, wallpaper and other building items, which went along with about 40 years worth of stuff that collected when her father lived in the house that Michelle Mullins recently moved into and renovated.
Her father moved to another house in Worthington Estates. He would have approved of the large mound of items that was hauled away from in front of the home at Rieber Street and Haymore Avenue.
"I was brought up that you have to recycle and find a home for everything," she said.
That is also the idea behind Precycle Day. If neighbors can pass on their used stuff to neighbors, there will be less need to buy, and fewer things passed on to the landfill.
Encouraging "neighboring" was also part of the idea.
Yaeger said he saw a lot of that as he cruised Worthington streets on Wednesday and Thursday. People seemed to be enjoying themselves, and everyone he talked to said they hoped Precycle Day would happen again next year.
"It went very, very well," he said. "It exceeded my expectations."
Word of the success also spread to neighborhoods outside Worthington. People have contacted Yaeger about how to start the own Precyle Day in areas from Worthington Hills to Sawmill Road to the Josephinum.
"Maybe we will have empowered them to go forward," he said.
Jim and Sandy Weisenberger planned to go home and encourage their hometown of St. Clairsville to hold a Precycle Day.
They were in town visiting his mother, Mary, when they heard about the event. When they left town on Wednesday, their SUV was packed full.
They took home rugs, floor mats for cars, a boom box, flowers, old computers. While they were loading up in front of a home on Highgate Avenue, the homeowner ran inside and returned with a new salad bowl.
They took it.
"I like junk," said Sandy. "I have had a ball."