December 30, 2012

Recycling saves town money, time and space

A new recycling program that Wilton switched to in September is getting an enthusiastic reception.

By KAITLIN SCHROEDER Morning Sentinel

WILTON - The recycling program that the town switched to in September is expected to save taxpayers a few thousand dollars annually in disposal costs and is being greeted enthusiastically by residents, according to Town Manager Rhonda Irish.

click image to enlarge

Reggie Lane, center, an employee at the Wilton Transfer Station, fishes a plastic bag out of the dumpster as Lawrence Farrington, right, and his wife, Marcella, look on.

Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel Staff Photographer

The single-stream recycling program allows residents to put all their recyclables into one bin instead of sorting them into several. She said the program's early success is due to the simple process. "All the feedback we have gotten back has been very positive," she said.

The town is now producing 5.5 to 8.5 tons less trash a month, with the recycling program accounting for the difference.

Irish estimated the savings between $4,200 and $6,600 annually, because the cost of disposing of recyclables is about $32 less per ton than landfill trash, which costs about $65 a ton.

Single-stream recycling was not only a cost-saving move, but also a green initiative, Irish said.

It was also space-saving. The town has a small area for recycling and waste disposal bins, and she said single-stream recycling uses a single 6.5-ton bin instead of requiring several bins for sorting. The space the new system saved was used for a compost center.

Lawrence Farrington, 79, and his wife, Marcella, 78, said they appreciate the new recycling system.

"It's a lot easier. I like a lot that I don't have to sort," Lawrence Farrington said while dropping off their regular weekly load of trash and recyclables.

The recyclables are collected in the 6.5-ton bin at the Wilton Transfer Station and sorted at a Lewiston branch of Casella Waste Systems, a Vermont-based company. Before the town switched to Casella, Sandy River Recycling Association in Farmington handled Wilton's recycling for 20 years, Irish said.

"For us it was just a changing of the times. It was not by any means dissatisfaction with the company," she said.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Kaitlin Schroeder can be contacted at 861-9252 or at:

kschroeder@mainetoday.com

 

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