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By RUSTY DENNEN
Recycling helps the environment by extending the life of landfills and conserving scarce natural resources, to name a few benefits.
During the next two weeks, the Rappahannock Group of the Sierra Club and Ten Thousand Villages will team up to make recycling even more rewarding during this year's America Recycles program.
"Our goal is to encourage people to recycle for a cause--to make donations of different things that will be recycled, but also to benefit nonprofits, and to have fun doing it," said Kathy Rivers, manager of Ten Thousand Villages, a fair-trade retailer at Spotsylvania Towne Centre.
A larger aim: promoting recycling in the region.
This is the fourth year of the partnership, with events beginning today and running through Nov. 11. It was extended by a week this year because of feedback from those taking part last year, Rivers said.
"People had a lot of fun, and they enjoy doing it with their families."
Again this year, anyone can participate in events and programs for free, and by bringing in items to drop off at nearly two dozen collection spots.
Can tabs can be taken to Parcel Plus in Central Park to benefit the Shriners Hospital; 360 Farm & Pet on State Route 3 is accepting used blankets and towels for the Stafford County SPCA; and Ten Thousand Villages is accepting coats for a Girl Scout coat drive.
Donate e-waste at Rob's Car Wash in Central Park and receive a free car wash; share your favorite recycling tip and get a free ice cream at Chick-fil-A in Central Park.
The kickoff is this Sunday at Ten Thousand Villages. There, from 1 to 2 p.m., participants can craft a bag from a T-shirt they bring in.
On Nov. 3, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Aikido in Spotsylvania will have a program on making a yard more habitable to wildlife, followed by a bluebird house-building workshop.
More than 20 businesses and other groups in downtown Fredericksburg, Central Park and in Spotsylvania and Stafford are involved.
Those who take part in activities or make donations will get a punch card to be used at each location. Ten punches will make them eligible for a prize drawing on the final day.
America Recycles Day is Nov. 15.
Read more about area activities: virginia.sierraclub.org/rg More on America Recycles: americarecyclesday.org
Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431
OCT. 27: Swap meet at