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One Amazing Transfer Station Story. And Another That’s Hard To Believe.

Last month hundreds of Westporters gathered in the rain, at the entrance to the Westport Weston Family YMCA. They were cheered on a very ill 6-year-old boy, whose fervent wish was to swim with his family, have a pizza party, and pet a bearded dragon.

Phoebe Nunziato was there. Her sign said simply: “You’re Amazing.”

Phoebe Nunziato

The other day, Phoebe’s father John included that cardboard sign among the recycling items he brought to the transfer station. On a whim he handed it to Gilberto, who manages the recycling stations at the Sherwood Island Connector site.

John took his photo.

Gilberto, with the recycled sign.

Gilberto kept holding the sign, as cars drove in. Drivers smiled.

This week John returned to the transfer station, with more items. He saw the sign proudly leaning against Gilberto’s booth.

Gilberto told John he puts the sign in the booth each night, and takes it out again the next morning.

It’s a bit tattered now. But, Gilberto says, it creates happiness. And the message is powerful.

“In this time of great stress, the smallest effort can bring joy — even at the transfer station,” John says.


But speaking of stress: That’s what David Meth feels when he stops by with his recyclables.

As he wrote earlier this month, he used to pick up discarded bicycles from the “metal” section. He’d take them to Cycle Dynamics, where owner Charlie Gander and his crew fixed and tuned them, then provided the like-new bikes to children through 3 Bridgeport charities.

Recently however, David has been prohibited from doing that.

Nearly 2 dozen readers responded to his story. They described transfer stations in other towns — including Darien and Redding — with designated spots for items that can be taken and fixed. The idea was met with great enthusiasm.

However, David says, there’s now a new sign:

“I understand the need for safety,” David says.

“But the suggestion in the last post was to set aside a small area for donations of items that can be reused. Why is that a problem?

“This is a small gesture of humanity for children and people who would repair and use the bicycles, as well as other things. Yet there seems no room at the transfer station for such generosity.

“And it’s not just one sign. There are two. We need a sign that says  ‘Donations.'”

Wouldn’t that be “Amazing”?

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