Junk Day returns to the springtime in Wyoming, after being postponed due to COVID in 2020. But last year also saw the rousing success of the city’s first Upcycle Day, and organizers hope to build on that this time around.

On Friday, April 16, the day before Junk Day, residents can come to Oak Park between 10 am and 6 pm to drop off a wide variety of unwanted items with local businesses and charities. These items will then be reused or repurposed rather than going into landfills. “We were able to divert 14.5 tons of material in a single day last year,” said City Council Member Sarah Stankorb Taylor. “That’s an incredible environmental impact, but also shows what we can accomplish together.”

In addition to the environmental benefit, Upcycle Day saves the City of Wyoming money on Junk Day costs. Chris Babb, who chairs the city’s Environmental Stewardship Commission, says, “Our local business partners and charities come at their own expense, and our volunteers do an amazing job to help divert waste and get goods into the hands of people who can use it.”

To Stankorb Taylor, Upcycle Day is symbolic of Wyoming’s community spirit. “It’s a reminder of how Wyoming shows up,” she says. “I hope to see even more people out there this year.”

What can you drop off on Upcycle Day? It’s a long list, and there are some restrictions, so be sure to check the ESC web page before you come, but here are some highlights of the groups involved and what they will be collecting.

  • Junk King/New Life Furniture: old electronics and gently used furniture.
  • Eco Development: clean Styrofoam (no food containers).
  • Matthew 25 Ministries: Usable latex, acrylic, or water-based paint (see website for restrictions).
  • Reuse Center: Doors, vintage furniture and tools, architectural pieces, and reusable building materials.
  • Goodwill Industries: Clothing, housewares, toys, sports equipment and more.
  • Terracycle:  Foil drink pouches and wrappers, toothpaste tubes, pens and markers, plastic gift cards, personal care and beauty products not recyclable curbside, and more.
  • Applied Arts Center of Cincinnati/Oil Express: All battery types.

No large appliances or furniture can be accepted; volunteers must be able to lift items over their heads. Residents should wear masks during drop-off. For additional information, or to check if your item qualifies for Upcycle Day, call Patrick Walker of the ESC at 513-301-9230.

There are other alternatives to Junk Day as well. Any Wyoming resident can join the Facebook group Wyoming OH Freebox to list or claim items throughout the year. As a precursor to Junk Day and Upcycle Day, April 10-11 has been designated a Freebox Free-For-All. 

The Hamilton County website has a list of other ways to recycle locally, and as always, Wyoming residents can discard one large item per week with their normal trash collection.