Mug Up: Recycling clothes, household goods, would help people, landfill

Canned food drive proposed at the end of the fishing season would fill a need

Cindy Appleton, manager of the city’s human resources and grants department, chats with city manager Alan Lanning during the Manager’s Mug-Up meeting at city hall Sept. 5. Photo by Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times

The Rev. Belle Mickelson is speaking out on behalf of the community’s need for a place to recycle clothing and other household goods in Cordova, for the benefit of residents and the city’s landfill.

The priest at St. George’s Episcopal Church was one of just three residents who showed up for the third annual Manager’s Mug-Up hosted by Cordova City Manager Alan Lanning at city hall on Sept. 5, and she had plenty to say.

The Salvation Army’s thrift store previously accepted secondhand items, but closed their shop doors in early June due to financial reasons. Since then, the community has been searching for other ways to pass on used items that are still in good condition.

“I’ve been thinking about this topic,” Mickelson told Lanning. “It concerns the city, too, and is a landfill issue. If folks can’t find ways to recycle their used items, they end up in the landfill. If we can think up ways to encourage this kind of recycling, we can make it happen,” Mickelson said.

Mickelson said it not only affects locals, but other people who come to Cordova to work in the fish processing facilities, who formerly shopped at the Salvation Army, looking to find affordable rain gear and other work clothing.

Mickelson said she’d also like to see a canned food drive organized at the end of fishing season, where people winterizing their boats can donate items they won’t be using.

“If we can organize something like this, this week, we can have canned goods and other food leftover at the end of the season donated to the food pantry,” she said.

The Little Chapel Church presently offers a food pantry on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.

“If everyone can do a little, we can accomplish a lot,” Mickelson told Lanning.

Lanning acknowledged Mickelson’s comments and said there are a couple of different issues to think about when it comes to functional recycling. 

Joining Lanning for the Mug-Up were Jon Stavig, finance director, Rich Rogers, public works director, Tony Schinella, harbormaster, Susan Bourgeois, city clerk, and Cindy Appleton, manager of human resources.

The informal meet and greet is an opportunity for residents to sit down with Lanning, and other department heads, to ask questions and get a feel for how the city operates.

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Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson is a staff writer and photographer for The Cordova Times. She has been writing in one form or another for 30-plus years and has had a longstanding relationship with The Cordova Times starting in 1989. She's been an Alaskan since 1976 and first moved to Cordova in 1978. She's lived in various West Texas towns; in Denver, Colorado; in McGrath, Cordova, Galena, Kodiak, Wasilla, Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska and in Bangalore, India. She has two children and three grandchildren. She can be reached at or follow her on Instagram @alaskatoindia.