Some time ago I heard about the 3R Living brick-and-mortar store right here in Brooklyn, New York and had wanted to visit it since then. The store supposedly has this recycling area where people can bring in things to recycle - things that normally would be thrown out with the regular trash. Alkaline batteries, CDs, floppy disks, etc. As webmaster for my recycling group, I know from our own referral page that there are services out there that accept such materials for recycling, but either you have to mail them to the places or pay for the service somehow. Once or twice I dropped off at Ikea in Elizabeth, NJ a bunch of blown flourescent and incandescent light bulbs plus loads of used alkaline batteries. Usually the only reason we go there is to go to the nearby shopping mall, Jersey Garden, but that mall gave me a nasty headache last time I went there - maybe it's the stale indoor air.
Today I finally made the trip to 3R Living's Brooklyn store. It's a short walk off the Union Street Station of the M or R train. It was my day off and I have this ambitious plan of taking my son to a different playground every week. This past Sunday I happened to drive by the 3R Living store and also noticed a playground not too far from it. With gasoline so high and parking probably not too easy around the store's area, I decided to take my son there by subway - a new playground to visit for the little one and a resting place for my collection of used batteries. Out of the subway station, we walked uphill, from Fourth Avenue to Fifth Avenue, then headed east toward President Street etc. 3R Living is at 276L, Fifth Avenue between Garfield and First Streets. The store is small, but has a back room for more stuff - it was helpful that there was a sign telling us so, but the people there seemed friendly enough, they probably would have told us about it if we looked lost. I checked out the web site for 3R Living before and really didn't see anything I would need, but I figured maybe I'll buy a pack of recycled paper or some toys for my son. J picked a kit to make chewing gum. There was one for making gummie worms, too. I dropped off my bag of batteries, paid the $12+ for the chewing gum kit, and asked the cashier, maybe the store owner, for permission to take a picture of the recycling area. What a beautiful sight - the crayon collection is on top, batteries below, and GreenDisk's Techotrash Can on the left. Almost out of the picture is some collection box for cell phones and such. I didn't notice the Technotrash Can until I imported this photo from my digital camera into the laptop. I already know about GreenDisk's service, but for an individual, it takes a lot more commitment to part with the money to properly dispose of CDs, floppies, etc. Or even for a small business. Big companies probably can do it for the publicity or tax break. You can tell that I'm a pessimist. But here's a great service 3R Living is doing for the community, faraway or nearby. I will definitely save up my AOL CDs and such to bring them along on my next visit to 3R Living. There are only so many coasters I can make out of them junk CDs or CDs with errors while I tried to burn copies of other CDs. On my next visit, I plan to get the gummie worms kit, although the chewing gum kit didn't work out that well. My wife helped my son make it and didn't use all the confectioner's sugar so the gum is somewhat spicy. The flavors included were tutti-fruity and peppermint. She claimed the sugar was only to be used as a layer between the melted chicle base and the surface from which the dough-like materieal was kneaded, but I would think adding all the sugar gives the gum a better taste. But then again, I never cooked anything in my life, so what do I know?
Please bring stuff to 3R Living to recycle and buy a thing or two from the store. If you are nowhere near the store physically, or for more info, visit http://www.3rliving.com , which is also behind the title of this blog entry. For me, now I'll just have to use Google Map to find another playground near 3R Living.