WOOLWICH, Maine — An active Solid Waste and Recycling Committee, an informed public and a convenient system administered by Casella Pine Tree Waste has led to a significant decrease in trash tonnage and an increase in recycling.
Figures released this week by the town show trash volume declined by 27 tons in 2012, from 928.6 to 901.6. The corresponding recycling rate went from 224.8 to 239.5 tons.
The town thus saves money on tipping fees, but there’s more to it than that.
“Even if there were no cost savings, this is good for the environment,” Selectboard Chairman David King said today. “It’s a step in the right direction.”
King gives much credit to the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee. In addition, Pine Tree Waste in October 2011 switched from monthly to biweekly curbside pickup of recyclables.
“The more you can get people into a routine, the better,” King said. “Then they can get rid of that cardboard box in a reasonable amount of time, instead of tripping over it.
Chairman Fred Kahrl said that the committee is “keeping its eyes open” in the community.
“We’re trying to be proactive,” Kahrl said. “Pine Tree uses a zero-sort recycling system, which makes it easy to participate. We’ve got room to grow, but we’re encouraged. Pine Tree tells us that in comparison to towns our size, we’re doing pretty well.
In the coming year, Kahrl said, committee members will try to follow the Pine Tree truck on its rounds, and spot homes where there is a good deal of trash.
The committee also will try to identify people who have just moved to town. Members will provide those people with free red recycling bins.
“We will encourage people to get bins, or recycling stickers for their containers,” Kahrl said.