Old newspapers needed now at ACCT
I won’t lie, it’s always fun every month when the new edition is delivered, and we see all our hard work arranged in colorful, towering stacks in our office. We believe strongly that community news can’t be just digital, that print is crucial for reaching all demographics and also necessary for providing a public record of consequential meetings and decisions.
But still. All that paper makes an undeniable environmental impact. Not as much as you might think — the print industry plants more trees than it harvests, for instance — but we’ve got eyes! We can see all the paper litter blowing around our sidewalks: coupons, circulars and whatnot. The last thing we want to do is add to the problem.
When we first started printing in 2015, we really tried to be ecologically mindful. We chose a zero-waste company that would “carpool” our delivery with other local drop-offs. And we decided right off the bat that we would not blanket the neighborhood like the previous newspaper, The Fallser, did. Even though folks expected us to, we just couldn’t handle the waste.
The paper wasn’t such an issue – it’s the thousands of single-use plastic bags used to weatherproof every copy. Yikes, that stuff is the worst! We just can’t. Instead, we drop stacks off at central locations: restaurants, shop counters, waiting rooms, etc. Places neighbors can easily pick up a copy while going about their day.
Every month when we leave the latest Local, we’re careful to pick up any leftovers as well as any other expired newsprint we find. Until recently, we’d drive all this old paper out to a recycling center in Chester County where it could move on to become pencils, egg cartons, toilet paper… even more newspapers.
Then we learned our old editions didn’t have to be recycled to be useful. They’re very much in demand just as they are, and right in our own backyard.
FUN FACT: Animal shelters go through a ton of newspaper!
It’s highly-absorbent and neatly-folded into convenient rectangles that can be peeled off as needed to line traps for community cats about to get spayed or neutered, some rescues will use it as lining for play pens, and others for lining cages of birds and reptiles – the list goes on!
At ACCT Philly — Philadelphia’s only open intake shelter — they average about 70 stacks per week. ACCT Philly’s Director, Development and Communications, Sarah Barnett, assured us that they can always use newspaper. “Especially with kitten season coming,” she said (see below).
With so much news going digital these days, shelters like ACCT depend more than ever on donations to keep them flush. Instead of recycling those old Locals (and Reviews and Scoops etc), we’re now collecting them for our furry friends in nearby Hunting Park!
The ACCT Philly animal shelter is barely five miles away from our home in East Falls as well as our office in Germantown – just right up Roosevelt Blvd maybe 15 minutes. It’s been here forever, but in 2020 they completed work on a new $1 million dollar adoption center, funded by Petco. The new operation is bigger by 9000 sq ft with new/improved HVAC, drainage, sanitation and more. Plus there’s a nice friendly entrance, with an open, covered area where you can safely drop off donations and go.
It could not be easier! Then again, maybe it can: The NW Philly Pack Walk is now accepting newspaper donations at the beginning and end of every walk (Sundays 9:30am – 10:45am at McMichael Park). We’ll take them over to ACCT with us on our next go.
Pro Tips: Bundle newspapers in bags or stack in boxes. Remove any glossy inserts/coupons/circulars which aren’t absorbent enough for shelter use. The shelter also has many other needs! See ACCT Philly’s website for full list of items accepted.
IT’S SPRING: The Kittens Are Coming!
Kittens are born year-round but most cats tend to get busy in the warmer months, starting in March with the first sign of spring. Nine weeks later, the first litters of “Kitten Season” arrive and from here shelters struggle to keep up with constant baby kitties and pregnant mama cats thru late fall. ACCT’s Kitten Nursery Registry provides easy, affordable ways to make a real difference in an animal’s life.
Find this Wish List on acctphilly.org’s “How to Help” page. Click to send them stuff like milk replacement powder, feeding syringes, maternity cat food, dishes, toys, litter pans… rice?! True Story: the tiniest kittens keep warm at ACCT by snuggling fuzzy socks filled with rice that are microwaved until toasty. Literally a life saver and also the cutest thing ever.
There are other items on the wish list too – for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, goats, chickens… It’s kind of amazing how many different species they save, foster and rehome in a typical year. Here’s something else you might not expect: 89% of the animals that pass-through ACCT find a home, rescue, or are returned to their owner. A dozen years ago, this number was 20%. Despite setbacks and reboots, ACCT continues to grow and improve to better serve the community.
We’re happy to bring them all the old newspapers they can find, and hopefully encourage more readers to consider donating, volunteering or just checking out ACCT Philly’s great new set-up. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new friend to take home.
ACCT Philly is open 7 days a week 10am – 6pm
Acctphilly.org provides lots of info & advice plus a super helpful Lost Pet Tips page, where you can file a Lost Pet report, and browse missing/found pet listings. Pet Food Pantry Now Open for pet owners in need. Please pitch in if you can – the City cut ACCT’s budget by 20% last summer. They’ve lost almost $900k in funding and could use our help more than ever. Thank you for supporting Philadelphia’s only open intake shelter.