Red Hook Daily Catch

Red Hook Offers 14th Annual Town-Wide Clean-Up, Repair, and Recycling Events This Weekend


Volunteers pose with their haul of cigarette butts and litter at the 2021 Red Hook Cleans Up event (photo by Laurie Husted).

Red Hook is due for its annual spring cleaning, and three popular events that are part of “Red Hook Cleans Up” are back this year, several after a two-year Covid hiatus. 

They include the Sunday afternoon trash clean-up on town roads and sidewalks, as well as two Saturday events: a repair cafe for electronics, bikes and more; and an electronic waste disposal operation.

Meanwhile, a new compost program will debut next weekend.

The events are being organized by the town with support from volunteers. Trash bags, gloves, grabbers and other tools needed for the task will also be handed out to volunteers, with help from Red Hook Rotary, which also is supplying vests to make trash collectors visible on the roadways. 

Trash Clean-Up

Starting at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, residents, families, and students can sign up at Town Hall in teams or as individuals to collect soda cans, beer bottles, debris, plastic bags, and any other litter they find along the roads in Red Hook. Volunteers will be assigned a section of town from which to collect trash. Collected items can be dropped off at Town Hall until 4 p.m. 

“It’s a really great and exciting event,” said Laurie Husted, chair of the Town’s Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) and the Chief Sustainability Officer at Bard College. “Just be prepared to do a lot of squats if you’re picking up small items like cigarette butts.” Husted has been volunteering on Red Hook clean-up day for years.

Steve Appenzeller leads the Repair Cafe, where residents can bring appliances and other goods for a quick tuneup (photo courtesy of Laurie Husted).

Repair Cafe: Free Service for Broken Items

At the Repair Cafe, to be located at the Red Hook Community Center at 59 Fiske St., residents can take broken home appliances – from faulty lights to malfunctioning TVs, broken bikes to radios. There, – between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, a team of local volunteers run by Steven Appenzeller from the CAC will attempt to fix the items for free. The team will help repair bicycles, electronic appliances, computers, woodwork, clothing, and soft toys, and also will offer knife and tool sharpening. 

“Broken but beloved items are what to bring here,” said Husted. The return of both the Repair Cafe and E-Waste collection stations comes after these events were canceled for two years due to the pandemic. 

Electronic Waste Collection

The E-waste collection station will serve as the home for broken electronics that cannot be resuscitated at the Repair Cafe. Between 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, residents can dispose of expired electronics, light bulbs, CDs and mobile phones free-of-charge at the Red Hook Recycling Center. The Town will charge residents between $10 to $20 to drop off TV monitors and large screens. (read the list of items that will be accepted)

Husted said the E-Waste Collection station will allow residents to dispose of and recycle, easily and cheaply, large appliances that can’t fit in standard home recycling bins. “We don’t usually make it easy on people to do the right thing with trash, so people have old broken TVs or displays in the basement that they just hang onto,” she said. 

New Pilot Composting Program

Husted said she is most excited for a new pilot composting program the Town is launching. Beginning April 30 and running through October, residents can dispose of their leftover food scraps at the Town’s recycling center for free, through the new program that is being coordinated by CAC member Lori Urbin.  

Last year, dozens of volunteers turned out for clean-up day. Husted hopes that even more will volunteer this year. She noted that the E-Waste Collection station is still looking for more volunteers. 

If you’re interested in helping, email Husted at LaurieHusted@gmail.com

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