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CENTREVILLE, MI — The St. Joseph County Grange Fairgrounds in Centreville, MI was busy on Earth Day, April 22, as people were invited to participate in a variety of recycling and conservation activities during the 14th annual Home and Garden Expo. The two-day event offers a rare opportunity to safely discard unwanted items and make a difference in the area.

A well-organized recycling effort was available with six individual stations accepting leftover materials and replaced units. The drop-off locations included electronics, tires, appliances, paper products, latex paint, and hazardous wastes.

Each stop was manned with volunteers who recorded numbers, collected fees when necessary, and unloaded vehicles and trailers. The response was continuous throughout the day with tons of recycling being collected.

One of the most popular was the electronics with computers and televisions being the more common discards along with the occasional 8-track players and VHS recorders. The contributions to the tire area included some that were pulled from the river during a clean-up effort.

Appliances were piling high as air conditioners were accepted as well as other items. Cardboard and paper filled large boxes at the next stop on the recycling tour.

The final two stations took care of the more dangerous of the cast-off items. Cans of paint were collected at the first one while those old bottles and cans of unknown substances were dispensed with at the last stop.

In the large show arena, the ultimate of recycling efforts were underway as the facility was filled with community members selling their garage sale bits and pieces.

A couple of outdoor sales were set up along with four livestock buildings full of treasures to be reutilized. There was literally something for everyone as furnishings, home décor, and antiques shared space with toys, books, and clothing.

Once the event was over, an additional opportunity was offered to those who were selling within those buildings.

The Valley Family Church of Kalamazoo was on the grounds with trucks to collect any donations from the garage sale leftovers.

The church runs a thrift store with the proceeds applied to a program called FridayGroceries Food Pantry. They accepted most items providing another chance to recycle and celebrate Earth Day by doing their part.

The Home and Garden Expo encouraged care for the home and property with vendors offering various services and products in three other buildings.

A grilling demonstration and competition, dog show, and silent auction supporting the 4-H program were appreciated that day along with a barn full of Earth Day activities focused on children.

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