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Waste Time With Patty
According to a recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency, two minutes daily is the average time each household spends recycling.
Up to 90 percent of our trash has the potential to be recycled. Of this “trash,” five cans are glass bottles and jars, one can is aluminum, five cans are food cans, 10 cans are plastic bottles and jugs and 25 cans are paper.
Recycling is the process of taking a product at the end of its useful life and using all or part of it to make another product. Collecting used bottles, cans, and newspapers and taking them to the curb or to a collection facility is just the first in a series of steps that generates a host of financial, environmental, and social returns. Some of these benefits build up locally as well as globally.
Benefits of recycling include the creation of jobs, reducing consumer costs, reducing air and water pollution. It also diverts waste from the landfills, reduces litter and illegal dumping and conserves valuable energy and natural resources.
The Northern Oxford Solid Waste Board has worked hard to make recycling in our communities easy and accessible. There are drop-off bins located at the Transfer and Recycling Station on Route 2 in Mexico.
The towns of Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury and Byron have curbside recycling. See your town office for a schedule.
Materials collected include Newspapers, magazines and other mixed paper, cardboard and paperboard boxes, numbers 1, 2 and 5 plastics, aluminum and steel cans, Aluminum foil, pie plates, TV dinner trays, etc., and any kind of glass.
A new brochure has been developed with a grant from the Maine State Planning Office and is available at your town office and the Recycling and Transfer Station. It contains all the information on recyclable materials as well as information on household hazardous waste, universal waste and other plastics.
The biggest headache in collecting recyclables is contamination. When it happens to our recycling collection the entire load often has to be relocated to a landfill because the material has lost its value. Contamination occurs when recyclables are not prepared or disposed of properly. Please help control this serious problem by checking proper preparation procedures.
Another way to reduce waste is to pre-think your purchases with “pre-cycling”. Pre-cycling is what you do by choosing products carefully before you purchase. Ten percent of your purchases is packaging which in turn gets thrown away. Select products with minimal wrapping packaged in recycled material.
Avoid packages made from several layers of different materials which can’t be separated, like juice boxes. Avoid individually packaged products or blister-packed items. Reuse paper or plastic bags. Better yet, carry your own reusable shopping bag. Buy durable products rather than disposable items.
And maybe most important, close the recycling loop by buying recycled. No market means no recycling.