When the 20th annual Clean Out Your Files Day started at 8 a.m. Thursday, a line of cars was already winding its way to the back of Area Recycling, said Education Coordinator Darven Kendell.

And until 4 p.m., a steady stream of people dropped off about 25,000 pounds of paper and cardboard.

As cars rolled into the recycling center, Burlington High School and Notre Dame High School student volunteers unloaded boxes of paper from the trunks. Somewhere between 200 and 300 people took part in the drive-through structured event.

“We just thought it’s good for people to clean out their files. Rather than just throwing them away, to recycle them,” said Emily Mark, a member of the BHS Ecology Club. “And to make it easier for people who aren’t capable of lifting the recyclables into different places.”

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With temperatures hitting the low 70s Thursday, people like Cara Wagoner came with an attitude of spring cleaning. Kendell said a schedule near both Tax Day and Earth Day put people in the right mindset for recycling those stacks of business documents, invoices and catalogues that have piled up in the past year.

The event made one thing on long to-do lists less stressful, especially for those recycling confidential paper, like bank statements or medical documents. Skyler Benge, a Hope Haven resident, helped collect bags of paper to be shredded Thursday.

“It just makes it a lot easier than shredding it myself,” said Wagoner. “And I know it’s being taken care of.”

Kendell said the shredding service proved popular this year, and he hopes it will attract customers to Hope Haven’s shredding services year round.

He also hopes the event stimulates an interest in recycling long beyond this one day a year.

“We hope people recycle every day,” said Kendell. “We are here every day. Businesses can bring stuff to us every day of the year. It doesn’t have to be just today.”