12/05/13 2:56pm

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | An Island tradition comes to light once again Wednesday evening with the annual Christmas tree lighting.

An Island tradition for decades, the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Christmas tree lighting on Wednesday evening in front of the police station, with caroling led by Santa.

For the past several seasons, Tom Damiani has volunteered his voice along with his equipment. Afterward the spirited caroling, everyone repaired to the Youth Center at the American Legion for hot cocoa and freshly baked cookies. Santa was on hand to hear children’s Christmas wishes.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | First on Santa’s knee was Natalie Mamisashvili, here seeing eye to eye with Santa along with big brother Nicholas.

For many years, Susan Cincotta has chaired this event and as always, she organized every last detail, to provide a welcoming and merry kick off to the holiday season.

05/15/13 8:10am

COURTESY PHOTO | A Shred-Tech truck will be on hand Saturday at the Shelter Island Green Expo 2013.

The headliner for the show Saturday will be a voracious monster consuming two tons of what it feeds on every hour. It can take on 10,000 pounds without a pause.

No, the Shelter Island Green Expo 2013 won’t be hosting an otherworldly competitive eater, but a world-class shredding machine. The Shred-Tech is not your garden-variety desktop shredder like the one made famous, or infamous, by Col. Oliver North of Iran-Contra renown when he and assistant Fawn Hall shredded documents around the clock. The Shred-Tech is a self-contained, all-in-one shredding truck. It will be parked, hungry and waiting for residents to deliver what it craves and what they want gone from clogging closets, drawers and attics.

The service will be free of charge, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday at the American Legion Youth Center as part of the town’s Green Expo.

Also participating in the celebration of all things green will be several town committees, including, among others, the Water Advisory Committee, the Community Preservation Advisory Board and the Conservation Advisory Council. The Mashomack Preserve, Sylvester Manor, three solar power companies, the Garden Club, Vine Busters and the Shelter Island School will all be at the Youth Center presenting programs and providing information.

The shredding service is courtesy of the Recycling Center, with the mobile shredder leased from West Islip’s A Shred Away, Inc. for $700 for the day, said Commissioner of Public Works Jay Card Jr. It will devour papers taking up space in town offices for about an hour Saturday and then starting at 10 a.m. residents can get their stuff shredded.

The Shred-Tech has an appetite for any kind of paper, said Charlie DeBlasio, owner of A Shred Away. Hard cover books should have the covers removed before feeding it to the machine, but there’s no worries when it comes to paperclips or staples. “The machine uses magnets to extract the metal,” Mr. DeBlasio said.

If homes and office seem to be drowning in paper, they are, even after predictions of a paperless future accompanying the digital age. A recent survey by the International Data Corporation, an industrial research company, found that just 22 percent of businesses saw a decrease in pages printed since the computer revolution. And 10 percent of offices saw paper use actually increasing, according to ZDnet, another research outfit.

Although some might not see the connection, shredding paper is a green thing. According to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, one-ton of shredded paper saves 17 trees, since the shreds are recycled into everything form paper plates to greeting cards. Also, each ton of confetti eliminates 3.5 cubic yards of landfill, according to the EPA.

Shredding can also save your name and reputation, plus preventing holes in your wallet. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that nine million American’s have their identity stolen every year because of careless disposal of important documents, and recommends shredding to ensure safety.

Mr. DeBlasio said shredding has moved on to clothing, X-Rays and computer hard drives.

But Saturday at the Youth Center it will just be paper that will feed the beast.