Recycling in Holden gets easier

Posted Sept. 22, 2010, at 9:42 p.m.

HOLDEN, Maine — Residents in town will be able to recycle just about everything they put into trash cans under a new single-stream recycling program that kicks off in October, Town Manager John Butts said Wednesday.

“It encourages people to recycle more,” he said. “It makes it easier.”

Town councilors approved the new program at their meeting on Monday.

One area refuse company, Pine Tree Waste of Hermon, began offering single-stream or zero-sort recycling in January, and Brewer jumped on board in June, followed by neighboring Orrington in July.

Under single-stream recycling, cereal, frozen food and pizza boxes, as well as plastic food containers and paper products, can be recycled along with the newspapers, milk jugs and steel cans that Mainers have recycled for decades.

Food waste, plastic shopping bags, cling wrap, Styrofoam cups, foam packing materials, light bulbs, window glass and dishes are not recyclable, but basically everything else is, Pine Tree Waste officials have said.

Pine Tree Waste, which falls under the corporate umbrella of Casella Waste Systems, will use regular trash trucks to collect the recyclables curbside once a month in Holden. In addition, the town’s recycling drop-off point on the municipal campus will now consist of a single bin, Butts said.

“They no longer have to sort,” he said.

The recycled items will be taken to Pine Tree Waste’s material recovery facility at the Pine Tree Landfill in Hampden. From there the materials will be shipped to Casella Solid Waste in Auburn, Mass., to be baled and sold on the commodities market.

The company’s website shows a video that demonstrates how the items are separated. Items are placed on a conveyer belt that allows glass to fall through grates. Magnets take out cans, and aluminum cans are repelled by a reverse magnetic field called an eddy current. An optical eye separates plastics from paper products by color.

During Monday’s meeting, the council also:

  • Endorsed providing 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week fire coverage on a trial basis. AmeriCorps volunteers now cover overnight shifts, but that program ends at the end of the month, Butts said. The extra hours will be posted in the fire department, he said. “It’s going to be re-evaluated in January,” Butts said.
  • Approved a liquor license for Traditions Golf Course.
  • Decided that Bloods Hill Road should remain a dead-end street.
  • Declared a 2004 police cruiser as surplus.

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