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Recycling 10 percent of trash
We can do better
RIVER VALLEY -- Over the course of the past six years, we've been recycling about 10 percent of our trash. Doing so has kept the per capita assessment for the six-town solid waste district from increasing. Imagine the cost savings if we recycled ever more?
Mexico Town Manager John Madigan, who serves as administrator for the Northern Oxford Regional Solid Waste Board (NORSWB), "Recycling has been good for the area, and if people did more, it would get better, even if the market flucuates, because any ton you take out of the waste stream, you're saving the disposal cost."
"I just encourage people to do it. It doesn't take a lot of effort. Some people might think it's a nuisance but if you can add one thing to your recycling bin every week, that's going to add up over the course of a year when you've got 15,000 people using the facility," he noted.
"Pay attention to it. There's a lot of different things that can be recycled. Rumford has recycling curbside pickup every week. Mexico has it every other week. Roxbury and Byron have pickup, I believe. Dixfield and Peru bring it to the transfer station themselves," said Madigan.
Patricia Duguay, chairman of NORSWB, has educated the public for years about recycling as part of her duties with the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition (RVHCC). "It's constantly about re-educating (about recycling). You can't let it get on the back burner."
She estimated that perhaps 30 percent of residents in the six towns are recycling.
For people who have not recycled before, they can begin with easy commonly used items like juice bottles, milk jugs and peanut butter jars. "Once you get into the habit, it gets easier," she noted.
Each town (Mexico, Rumford, Dixfield, Peru, Roxbury and Byron) has recycling bins available. In Mexico, they are orange. "If someone moves into town, we give them the first one," said Madigan. An additional one costs $4.
It is asked that recyclable materials be separated. For cardboard -- keep clean and dry, flatten boxes. Keep separate from newspapers; newspapers and magazines -- keep clean and dry; plastics -- remove tops and rinse. Please crush containers; cans -- all items must be rinsed, labels are okay; glass -- remove tops and rinse. Recycle metal lids with cans and discard plastic lids. Labels are okay. Try not to break or crush glass bottles or jars.
Several reasons exist as to why we should promote recycling. Recycling helps us to convert our old products into new useful products. In other words, it is good for the environment. Since we are saving resources and are sending less trash to the landfills, it helps in reducing air and water pollution.
Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light up a 100 watt bulb for four hours. Recycling one ton of paper saves about 17 trees which absorb 250 lbs. of carbon dioxide from the air.
The recycling center and transfer station is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 364-3645.
For more on how to recycle, go to: http://www.rvhcc.org/pdf/recycling%20flyer.pdf.