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

Monday, January 11, 2010

Recycling A Few Old Thoughts

I was reading an article, one morning last week, about some plans for the Recycling Center here in town. One of the things mentioned in the article was the the idea of charging for a second and third Recycling Center sticker per household. The first one would be remain free.

If the idea is to raise money, and to help make the Recycling Center more self sufficient, then I say, charge for the first sticker, and maybe a discounted rate on any other stickers in each household.

When one thinks about it, it is usually one vehicles that makes the "dump run". Might as well put a price on that sticker since the chances for two, or three vehicles in the same family sharing that chore are rare. The fee does not need to be outrageous, either. $5.00 to $10.00 per year would be fine.

Another thing being tossed around is a per-bag fee. I say go for it. Heck, I have curb side pickup, and I pay to dispose of my trash. Everyone should pay to dispose of their waste in one form or another. In the last town I lived in, about ten years ago, everyone in town had curbside pickup for waste and recyclables. It was "free", meaning no bill was sent to the residents of the town, but instead the town had a contract with the different trash removal companies and paid them according to the contract. Yes, we did pay for the service through our taxes, but the process was streamlined, and efficient.

Single stream recycling is a the direction to head in, but is something we need to build towards. In the meantime, institute a per bag fee for trash, but not for recyclable items. We also need to make curbside recycling free as well. Currently, companies that do curbside pickup charge a fee to pick up recycling in addition to the fee for waste pickup.

That does little to encourage recycling, and to reduce waste.

If I am going to separate my trash into what is waste, and what is recyclable, and if I am going to be charged for the volume of un-recyclable waste, I will go the extra step to make sure that
all of recyclables are pulled out the trash mix if my recyclables will be picked up for free.

A Recycling Center sticker fee for the first sticker in household in order to support the center is something long overdue, and I also believe that a fee should be charged for waste on a per bag basis at the center as well. All disposal of recyclables should be without a charge both at the Recycling Center, and at the curbside.

Save some money. Save the planet.

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