S.H.R.R.E.D.temberfest this Saturday, Sep. 26th 10 am-2 pm

Don't forget this weekend is Princeton's annual S.H.R.R.E.D.temberfest on Saturday, September 26th from 10 am to 2 pm rain or shine at Witherspoon Hall parking lot, 400 Witherspoon St. This annual event organized by the Public Works Department and provided by the NJ Clean Communities Grant & the NJ DEP Recycling Tonnage Grant, is a great way for Princeton residents to recycle many household items rather than send them to a landfill.

Shred your personal documents

Household goods & clean clothing recycling

Rain Barrels $30.00 per barrel (small quantities available)

Recycle home medical equipment 

Electronic & computer recycling 

Dumpster discards & Donate bikes

Check out the Princeton Municipal website for a complete list of what you can and cannot bring.

Backyard compost bins will also be available for the subsidized price of $30. Backyard composting is a great way to divert food waste from being sent to the landfill.  According to the EPA's 2012 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization Report, 21% of waste going to municipal landfills is food waste. We can put that waste to a better purpose by composting and putting important nutrients back into the soil. Limited bins are available so arrive early.

Rain barrels will also be available for the subsidized price of $30.  According to the EPA, lawn and gardening take up about 40% of water usage during the summer months in the Mid-Atlantic. Rain barrels help conserve water and energy. It takes energy to treat and transport water to consumers. To learn more about rain barrels, check out this FAQ from the Rutgers Water Resources Program.

Also taking place on this day is the Mercer County Improvement Authority's last Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Electronic Recycling Event in 2015. Mercer County residents can bring hazardous waste and electronics for recycling and safe disposal.  The event takes place at the John T. Dempster Fire School 350 Lawrence Station Road, Lawrenceville.  Go here for details on what materials are accepted.

Not able to make it S.H.R.R.E.D.temberfest or to the MCIA event, check out the Princeton Municipal website for more information about recycling.

6.5 Million Tons: You Can Stop Waste as Close as Your Mailbox

     When you think about saving the planet, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?  For many it is saving trees in the rainforest, making sure to recycle, turning the lights off or reducing the amount you drive, but opportunities for sustainable behavior can be anywhere.  Junk Mail is the epitome of waste, but the scale of this waste is revealed in a CBS news report on the subject revealing that, “advertising mail accounts for 59 percent of all mail Americans receive. But only half of that mail is ever read, according to the United States Postal Service.”  The sheer magnitude of waste is very impressive.  In a report released by ForestEthics, we learn that junk mail accounts for 6.5 million tons of paper and 3.7 million cars worth of Greenhouse Gas resulting from the manufacture of that paper, and that is not even including the carbon cost of transportation and distribution.  Most people don’t even think of what a massive waste this is and wouldn’t know where to start trying to stop it.

What can you do?

     There’s good news, it can all stop with a few simple steps.  The Federal Trade Commission and usa.gov have both provided us with a list of instructions for stopping junk mail ourselves.  The first step is through the Direct Marketing Association Mail Preference Service.  The Direct Marketing Association(DMA) is an organization that compiles all publicly available consumer habits and information about you and markets it to those companies that are sending you junk mail, but the DMA allows you to place yourself on a “delete” file which is sent to companies that will take you off the list.  All you need to do is visit their website or send a $1 processing fee with a request to remove you to the following address:

     DMAchoice;  Direct Marketing Association;  P.O. Box 643;  Carmel, NY 10512

     This process only takes five minutes but has been known to take some time to take effect.  This is a good first step, but once you have been removed from the DMA lists, you may still have to contact a few of the companies sending you junk mail directly and ask them to remove you from lists they rent or sell.  To remove yourself from lists that provide pre-approved offers of credit or insurance call the credit reporting agencies at 1-888-567-8688 or visit their website.  These are just the basics, it should take less than thirty minutes to reduce the flow of junk mail to a trickle.

How to get even less junk mail

     There are more advanced tips that you can use provided by Global Stewards’ website.  This article on treehugger.com also shows us a few paid services that will save you the trouble and may provide a more complete reduction of junk mail.  Not as hard as we all thought after all.

Get a Head Start on Spring Cleaning: Recycling Event & Community-Wide Yard Sale

It's Time to Start Your Spring Cleaning

Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling Event

Been waiting to get rid of old electronics that have served their useful purpose and are taking up space around the house but don't know what to do with them? Or maybe you've been wondering what to do with  paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides, or other household substances that contain potentially hazardous ingredients. Three times a year the Mercer County Improvement Authority (MCIA) holds a Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling event for Mercer County residents. Residents with proper identification may bring used electronics, including computers, televisions, printer & household hazardous waste to the John T. Dempster Fire School on Lawrence Rd., Lawrence Township this Saturday, March 21st from 8:00 am - 2:00 pm. Collected products are sent to a recycling facility for processing. More information about recycling can be found anytime with MCIA's my-waste app.

Can't make it this Saturday? Princeton residents can recycle computerstelevisions, and other electronics at the Convenience Center on River Road. An appointment may be needed to drop off material. Contact Princeton's Recycling Coordinator, Janet Pellichero, at 688-2566 for information Monday – Friday from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Let it Go! Community-Wide Yard Sale

And while you are getting a head start on spring cleaning, start planning for the Let it Go! community wide yard sale. The Princeton Environmental Film Festival, Sustainable Princeton and The Princeton Public Library have worked together to engage the whole town in an event that focuses on reuse and recycling.

All Princeton residents are encouraged to participate by either hosting a yard sale or attending the sales on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

To host a sale register here.  A map of all yard sales in the area will be produced so prospective buyers will know exactly where to find the sales.

There is no cost to host a sale and all profits from your yard sale are yours to keep. Registration deadline is April 20, 2015.

Happy Spring!

The Princeton Public Library & Sustainable Princeton are not responsible for items sold or bought by the seller or buyer. The seller is responsible for removing all items from yards or curbs following the sale.


Big Brothers Big Sisters Freecycle PrincetonGood Will NJ/NY Lupus America Household Goods Donation ProgramMilk Money (Children's Consignment)New Jersey Bike ExchangePrinceton Department of Public WorksPurple HeartVietnam Veterans of America


Energy & Waste Are Represented in Princeton Pubic Library's Environmental Film Festival Official Selections

 The Official Selections have been announced for the Princeton Public Library's 9th annual Environmental Film Festival (PEFF). Amongst the line up of thought provoking and notable films are selections that explore the implications of the energy and waste choices that are being made around the world.

Here's a run down of the films that focus on energy and waste:

Friday, March 20th

7:00 pm

WASTE:  Just Eat It - Directed by Grant Baldwin and produced by Jen Rustemeyer, 2014 75 minutes

Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling. But as Grant’s addictive personality turns full tilt towards food rescue, the ‘thrill of the find’ has unexpected consequences.

Sunday, March 22nd

1:30 pm

ENERGY:  Oil and Water - Produced and directed by Francine Strickwerda and Laura Spellman-Smith

Oil & Water is the true story of two boys coming of age as they each confront one of the world’s worst toxic disasters. Hugo and David were born on opposite ends of the oil pipeline. Hugo comes to America to fight for the survival of his Cofan tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon, while David leaves the U.S. and goes to Ecuador to launch the world’s first company to certify oil as “fair trade.” Their journeys lead them to explore what could be a more just future, not just for the Cofan, but for all people around the world born with oil beneath their feet.

Monday, March 23rd

4:00 pm

ENERGY:  No Pipeline: Say the Friends of Nelson - Produced by Julie Burns, George Mccullough and Anna Savoia, 2014 29 min

The effects of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) are felt far and wide. “No Pipeline” looks at a community in Nelson County, Virginia fighting a gas pipeline which threatens the beauty of the countryside and change the way of life they have come to love.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers George McCollough and Anna Savoia. 

6:00 pm

ENERGY:  Switch - Produced by Harry Lynch and Geologist Dr. Scott Tinker, 2012 98 min

Every energy resource — fossil, nuclear and renewable — is undergoing profound changes. This sweeping transition is the subject of “Switch” and travels the world to discover how it most likely will happen, with a focus on the practical realities and balanced understanding about changing the way we use energy, to realize the many economic and environmental benefits of efficiency.

7:30 pm

ENERGY:  Above All Else - Produced and directed by John Fiege, 2014 95 min

In this first-hand account of activists on the front line of the climate fight, one man risks it all to stop the tar sands of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from crossing his land. Shot in the forests, pastures, and living rooms of rural East Texas, “Above All Else” follows David Daniel, a retired stunt man and high-wire artist, as he rallies neighbors and activists to join him in a final act of brinkmanship: a tree-top blockade of the controversial pipeline.

Tuesday, March 24th

4:00 pm

ENERGY:  The Walking Revolution - Produced by Every Body Walk, Rigler Creative, 2013 30 min

Cities were once designed on a human scale. As more and more people took to the roads, the suburbs quickly became the new frontier. After 75 years of planning that produces a sedentary lifestyle, a radical redesign of our cities and open space has begun. Parks and paths are making a comeback to create truly walkable communities through partnerships between residents, businesses, developers, municipalities, urban planners and health care providers.

Thursday, March 26th

10:00 am

ENERGY:  Switch - Produced by Harry Lynch and Geologist Dr. Scott Tinker, 2012 98 min

See above.

12:00 pm

WASTE:  Racing to Zero - Produced by Diana Fuller directed by Christopher Beaver, 2014 59 min

By substituting the word “resource” for the word “garbage,” a culture can be transformed, and a new wealth of industries can emerge, presenting new solutions to the global problem of waste.  The film examines how the mayor of San Francisco pledged to achieve zero waste by 2020, and tracks San Francisco’s waste stream diversion tactics and presents innovative new solutions to waste. This film documents a surprising, engaging and inspiring race to zero.

7:00 pm

Screening Location: Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts, James M. Stewart '32 Theater 185 Nassau Street, Princeton

ENERGY:  The Overnighters - Produced and directed by Jesse Moss, 2014 100 min

In the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up with dreams of honest work and a big paycheck when hydraulic fracturing in that region unlocks a vast oil field in the nearby Bakken shale. Upon arrival, however, busloads of newcomers step into the sad reality of slim work prospects and nowhere to sleep – the town lacks the infrastructure to house even those who do find gainful employment. A modern-day “Grapes of Wrath,” the film engages and dramatizes a set of universal societal and economic themes: the promise and limits of re-invention, redemption and compassion, as well as the tension between the moral imperative to “love thy neighbor” and the practice of one small community when confronted by a surging river of desperate, job seeking strangers.

Saturday, March 28th 

6:30 pm

WASTE:  Trashion Show

Walk that red carpet in an outfit made from...trash! Well, recyclables anyway! And we are offering some design help in creating your outfit this month, with two workshops lead by Princeton Day School teacher Olivia Rutigliano. The workshops are intended for children, teens and college students. Workshop Dates: Saturday Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. and Saturday Feb. 28 at 10:30 a.m. in the Princeton Public Library. Details here.


Sunday, March 29th 

11:00 am

WASTE:  Divide in Concord Produced by David Regos and Jaedra Luke directed by Kris Kaczor, 2015 82 min

Jean Hill, a fiery octogenarian, is deeply concerned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—the world’s largest landfill. She spends her golden years attending city council meetings and cold-calling residents. Since 2010, she’s spearheaded a grassroots campaign to ban the sale of single-serve plastic bottled water in her hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. So far, her attempts to pass a municipal bylaw have failed. As she prepares for one last town meeting, Jean faces the strongest opposition yet, from local merchants and the International Bottled Water Association. But her fiercest challenge comes from Adriana Cohen, mother, model and celebrity publicist-turned-pundit, who insists the bill is an attack on freedom.  When Adriana thrusts Jean’s crusade into the national spotlight, it’s silver-haired senior versus silver-tongued pro. In the same town that incited the American Revolution and inspired Thoreau’s environmental movement, can one little old lady make history? A tense nail-biter of a vote will decide.


For the full line up of the selections, check out the PEFF website and don't forget to follow on Facebook. Hope to see you there!



Electronics Recycling & Document Shredding Event - Saturday, February 7th

Been waiting to get rid of old electronics that have served their useful purpose and are taking up space around the house but don't know what to do with them? Twice a year the Mercer County Improvement Authority (MCIA) holds an Electronic Waste and Document Shredding event. Mercer County residents may bring used electronics, including computers, televisions, and printers (proper identification required). The next event is this Saturday, February 7th from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm at the Sun National Bank Center in the City of Trenton. These products are collected and sent to a recycling facility for processing. More information about recycling can be found anytime with MCIA's my-waste app. Can't make it this Saturday? Princeton residents can recycle computers, televisions, and other electronics at the Convenience Center on River Road. An appointment may needed to drop off material. Contact Princeton's Recycling Coordinator, Janet Pellichero, at 688-2566 for information Monday – Friday from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.