The Coast News Group
Armando Acevedo, Goodwill Industries document destroyer, gathers documents from Oceanside resident Donna Randolph. The Green Oceanside event collected clothes, household items, and shredded documents. Photo by Promise Yee

Donate First Day kicks off Earth Day events

OCEANSIDE — Donate First Day collected items for reuse, prior to them being recycled or thrown away. The city of Oceanside partnered with Goodwill Industries to set up a daylong collection station at Oceanside High School on April 11.

Colleen Foster, Oceanside Solid Waste and Recycling management analyst, said reuse is a vital step in reducing the amount of waste that goes into the landfill. Many items are made from materials that cannot be recycled.

Donate First Day had a steady stream of participants dropping off electronics, clothes and household items.

“We’ve filled up two electronic bins and document destruction has been very busy,” April Andrews, Goodwill Industries of San Diego County sustainability manager, said.

Andrews said nothing goes to waste. All donated items are given a chance to sell in store. The majority of items sell within four weeks; those that do not are auctioned at international textile sales.

Cotton is made into rags or paper. Woolens are reused to create car insulation or seat stuffing.

Last year Goodwill Industries of San Diego County recycled 732,743 pounds of shoes and 4,945,855 pounds of textiles.

Foster said no collection goal was set for Donate First Day. The purpose of the event was to collect and reuse as many items as possible, and raise community awareness.

Donate First Day is scheduled a week prior to the trash collection spring cleanup event that allows residents to put unlimited unwanted items by the curb for trash pickup. While the spring cleanup event helps reduce household clutter, it also deposits all unwanted items in the landfill.

“We want to educate people that before you call Waste Management you can drop off material or have it picked up for you to repurpose or reuse,” Foster said.

The city will hold additional Earth-friendly events all month. Green Oceanside events will share tips on water conservation, energy efficiency and best business practices.

A water-wise landscaping workshop will be held at El Corazon Senior Center on April 18.

A daylong Earth Festival will feature green home improvements and a Kids-Eco Zone in the downtown area April 19.

A green business mixer will share environmental best practices for businesses at Local Tap House on April 22.

For more information visit