On June 5, traffic as far as the eye could see slowed to a crawl on Hill Road as hundreds of cars waited their turn to participate in the Pickerington Shred and Recycling Day hosted by Dwayne R Spence Funeral Home.
The event began at 9 am and ended around 1 pm. By 10:30 am, two semitrailers of secured documents had been dispatched to Royal Document Destruction’s Gahanna location to be shredded and recycled, the Pickerington Lions Club had already collected hundreds of prescription eye glasses, and volunteers were packing a second truckload of donations for the Pickerington Food Pantry.
Spence has been sponsoring Shred Day since 2009 and while it has grown from year to year, the extent of Saturday’s crowd was unexpected. The 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.
“We’ve never had this many people before,” said Frank Priddy, a Director’s Assistant at Spence. “It’s an exceptional crowd this year and we are glad we can help the community.”
Brent Wilson conceived Shred Day as a community service project that would also promote sustainability. Wilson, a Director’s Assistant at Spence, had worked with RDD in the past. The company had impressed him with both their security protocols and their understanding of the recycling business.
Final numbers for the 2021 event were not available in time for this article, but in 2019 Spence collected 33,900 pounds of documents. According RDD, that amount equated to saving 288 trees, 118,650 gallons of water, 85 cubic yards of landfill space and 69,495 kilowatts of energy. In addition, 1,017 pounds of pollutants were kept out of the atmosphere.
Total Computer Recyclers (TDR) joined the event to collect used electronics for recycling.
The Pickerington and Lancaster Societies of Saint Vincent de Paul were on hand to collect clothing and household goods. St. Vincent de Paul is a Catholic charity that helps families pay their bills like rent and utilities.
“Our mission is to seek and find those in need,” said Ed Webber, President of the Lancaster Society.
The charity is funded through donations and proceeds from its thrift shops. The Lancaster St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop, located at 424 E. Locust Street, is open from 9 am to 1 pm Tuesday through Friday and Saturday from 9 am to noon.
The Pickerington Society is based out of Seton Parish on Hill Road.
Chuck Marsh raises money for the Seton Parish Society by scrapping metal. He accepts donations of everything from wires to used lawn equipment. Last year he raised more than $1,500. If you have metal to donate, please contact Chuck at (740) 593-9301.
“I do what I can,” Marsh said.
The Pickerington Food Pantry took to social media to thank Spence and their volunteers. The event raised $1,895.00 in donations for the pantry and visitors donated in 2,334 pounds of food.
Dwayne Spence’s employees are proud of their boss and his sponsorship of Shred Day. Staff members from both the Pickerington and Canal Winchester locations volunteered their Saturday morning to help.
“This is all due to his generosity,” said Bea Wetherall, a Spence Funeral ambassador. “There is no charge (for shredding) and anyone can donate.”
Spence also recognized BSA Troop 256 for its help making the day successful. Dozens of young men from the troop alongside young women from their sister organization, Troop 7256, worked unloading cars and hauling boxes.
“If it wasn’t for Troop 256, we wouldn’t have enough people,” Wilson said. “The Boy Scouts do a tremendous job for us.”