ecomaine’s “Recyclopedia” is an online resource available at ecomaine.org/what-can-be-recycled/recyclopedia/ . This program offers a wonderfully simple user interface, and provides a host of solid information about what can be recycled, and what cannot.

I have not discussed the Recyclopedia much in the past for two reasons. One is that it is obviously heavily oriented towards ecomaine (which the company always spells without an initial capital “E”), and there are differences between how they and Casella Systems handle many items.

Since Brunswick has now committed to switching to ecomaine for handling our recycling, I am much more comfortable suggesting the Recyclopedia archive. We just need to remember that we’re still working with Casella for another couple of months, so where differences exist, we still need to conform to Casella’s rules until the switch is complete.

The second reason for holding back on stressing the Reyclopedia is that is not always as complete as I would like. By that, I mean that it doesn’t offer much for alternatives when an item is not recyclable in their system. If you search for “white gas,” for example, you see a page of possible choices which contain either term. Select the fuel option, and the database will tell you it’s a Hazardous Waste, and talks a bit about taking it to the local transfer station on Hazardous Waste Day.

That’s all fine, and quite correct, as far as it goes, but it’s not specific to white gas, and it does not mention the many alternatives I talked about in my column on April 20 of this year. On our committee, we want to promote the entire solid waste hierarchy, so we look for reduce and reuse opportunities as well as recycling. Use the Recyclopedia, but think reduce and reuse as well!

I will also note here that, while the Recyclopedia address is quite long, you can find it by just going to ecomaine.org, and following the clearly marked links.

The Recycle Bin is a weekly column on what to recycle, what not to recycle, and why, in Brunswick. The public is encouraged to submit questions by email to [email protected]. Harry Hopcroft is a member of the Brunswick Recycling and Sustainability Committee. 

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