Recycle at the Onion Barn, Help Fund Sports

Sammie Godwin, Lila Pocsik, tennis coach Dana Parsons. Photos: Vicki Thomas

Every Saturday morning, you can enjoy the company of neighbors, feel good about helping the environment, and support Weston athletics.

From 9:00 until noon, a steady stream of cars, SUVs and trucks pull in behind Weston’s historic Onion Barn to toss bags filled with beverage cans and bottles into an old gray bin that was built about 20 years ago. They do this to support the Weston Boosters Club, a non-profit that funds expenses not covered by the Weston High School Athletic Department.

Staffing of the operation rotates through various teams that benefit from it. On January 18, girls tennis team captains Sammie Godwin and Lisa Pocsik, along with their coach Dana Parsons, did their part by gathering bags from the old bin for sorting into beer, glass, and soda bins for recycling.

Also on hand were members of the Weston Kiwanis club, doing a day of community service to build a new drop off bin. The new bin will be safer, have a greater capacity, and will be nicer looking. The Kiwanis team of volunteer workers included club president Steve Thomas, Tom Johnson, Dan Gilbert, Dan Baker, Dan Lerner, and Glenn Van Deusen.

For Kiwanis volunteers this is a two-phase Saturday workday event. The first part was to build the structure with lumber donated by Rings End in Wilton. In the second part, Kiwanians will install a floor and boards on the sides. The new bin will have a door to allow greater access and improve safety for collecting cans and bottles for sorting.

Dan Baker, a Kiwanis member and Boosters Club treasurer, said “the cans and bottles drop off is a Saturday outing that brings the community together in a meaningful way. You can find people chatting with the Boosters Club team captains and their coaches. It creates camaraderie with the school sports teams and the community. It often is the students' first endeavor into civic and philanthropic engagement.”

The 30-year-old Boosters Club’s mission is to add financial support to boys and girls athletic teams, club sports, and intramural sports within Weston High School. About 70 percent of students participate in at least one sport.

The Cans and Bottles Collection raises about $4,000 a year from the drop-offs by Weston residents. Recyclable cans and bottles are redeemed for cash that goes to the Boosters, usually five cents per container.

Raised funds help the Boosters buy team championship jackets, t-shirts, and equipment not covered by the board of education budget. All financial requests are vetted through the Weston Athletic director.

“Not a lot of people were aware of the Cans and Bottles Collection," said Mr. Baker, "until a break-in occurred three years ago. That was unfortunate, but it raised a lot of visibility.

To learn more about the Boosters and how you can help, contact Tammy Roberts at

Dan Baker, Dan Gilbert, Tom Johnson, Steve Thomas, Glenn Van Deusen, Dan Lerner.

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