Earth Day events give back to the Albany community


Earth Day cleanups happened all across the Capital Region on Sunday.

Events like one at the Albany Capital Center had a focus of taking care of the environment and also giving back to the community.

One organization is collected bottles and cans all to be recycled and cleaned up the community for a good cause.

Volunteers gathered at the Albany Capital Center for the group’s first ever bottle drive and community cleanup.

“It’s earth day and spring has finally sprung, we’ve got some great weather today,” said Doug McClaine, General Manager of the Albany Capital Center.

The focus was on cleaning up the areas surrounding the Capital Center and the Times Union Center, as well as beautifying some of the green spaces nearby.

“Our goal is to drive as many people to downtown Albany and utilize the facility and utilize downtown so it’s great to keep the area looking great and keeping the buildings busy,” McClaine said.

“The two buildings together see more than a million people here over a year. So it’s really important that we welcome them with a beautiful landscape,” said Amelia Bach, Sales Coordinator of the Albany Capital Center.

All of the supplies for Sunday’s clean-up were donated by the Department of General Services, as brush was cleared and trash picked up.

“The community has been so welcoming to us over this past year so we’re really looking forward to cleaning up the streets a little bit for them as well,” Bach said.

But, the event was about more than just the environment; all proceeds from a bottle drive are being donated to the Ronald McDonald House.

“There’s no such thing as a small donation. We have 25 bathrooms that we need to keep toilet paper in. Little things like that, so we need stuff,” said Jeff Yule, Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House.

The Ronald McDonald house provides a place for families to stay while their children are in nearby hospitals.

It costs about $80 for the charity to house a family for a night in the facility.

“These bottles that will be recycled today we’ll get the cash today and put it in the bank tomorrow on Monday,” Yule said.

“I think everyone in that situation really relies on their services to help them get through that tough time in their lives and we’re really excited to give back to them today,” Bach said.

Every little bit helps.

“Hopefully people will come down and learn more about the house learn more about how they can take care of the environment and it will be a great day,” Yule said.

“We have a nice crew going and we’ll do a good job cleaning up and hopefully we’ll get a lot of bottles,” McClaine said.

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