Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Something To Ponder

A couple of really neat things have occurred lately. One being that Governor Patrick has decided not to allow incinerators within the Commonwealth to burn our trash. This is great for keeping the air we breath cleaner than would otherwise be, but leaves something for us to all think about, too.

Incinerating trash would be one sure fire (please, pardon the pun, really) to eliminate the waste generated by all of us, and leave little trace of it except in the ash it leaves behind, and the gases released into the atmosphere. Out of sight, out of mind, but still, not good. So what can we do locally to attack the mountain of waste we generate each week here in town? It has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is in the ground. Yes, there are items that are recycled, but for the most part everything is all mixed together, tossed in a a green bag and left at the curb. Pay a quarterly fee, and presto, no more waste.

It's the out of sight thing again.

It is time for our little berg to adopt single stream recycling as a town policy.

"Single stream (also known as “fully commingled”) recycling refers to a system in which all paper fibers and containers are mixed together in a collection truck, instead of being sorted into separate commodities (newspaper, cardboard, plastic, glass, etc.) by the resident and handled separately throughout the collection process. In single stream, both the collection and processing systems must be designed to handle this fully commingled mixture of recyclables."

If the Commonwealths goal is "zero waste", then this type of program is only down the road for us. The program is very effective at reducing waste, however it initially requires a major capital outlay, something a town our size may not be able to handle alone. We should consider taking the idea regionally. By including a few other towns of a certain population, we would share the cost, and the immense benefit as well.

Something to ponder.

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