Is Bedford Failing?
Thursday, June 19, 2014
To The Editor,
This past year, our 6th grade Girl Scout troop has been exploring issues related to making our environment a better place. We recently visited the Bedford Dump to understand more about Bedford’s trash and recycling programs and we were surprised with what we found out.
Bedford as a town is failing with regard to recycling. The state requirement was to recycle 25% of all household waste by the year 2000. It is now 2014 and Bedford residents only recycle 16% of their waste. Bedford residents really need to be more aware of those items that are truly trash versus those items that can be recycled.
Bedford residents are very lucky. Bedford has a “Zero Sort” Recycling System. This means that you can toss all recyclables into one bin and the machines will sort them. There is not an easier way to recycle, so why are we, as a community, not reaching the state requirement of 25%?
According to Bedford Dump employees, perhaps one problem is that town residents do not know what they can recycle. There are many materials that can be recycled including: cardboard (all colors), paper (newspapers, mail, envelopes, magazines, folders, office paper, paper cups, take-out containers, etc), plastic (all containers including bottles, cups, plates, flatware), all glass (any color) and metal (aluminum, tin, steel, staples, paper clips).
Quite often the ‘trash’ in the trash bins contain paper and cardboard, the easiest (and heaviest) items to recycle. Bedford pays approximately $82 dollars per ton of trash. Every week, Bedford citizens collectively gather about 160 tons of trash a week, costing Bedford about $13,120 per week. However, when Bedford recycles, we EARN $3-5 per ton. We usually recycle about 28 tons a week, earning Bedford about $84-$120 per week. When we throw recyclable items in the trash dumpsters, we are literally throwing our money away.
The Bedford dump tells citizens that the ratio between recycling and trash should be 3:1. In other words, you should have more items being recycled than thrown in the trash. We all need to work together to not only save money in our community but to make our world a better place to live. We hope you will help us.
Bedford Girl Scout Troop 10569, 6th Grade
(Lexi Belanger, Alexa Cannon, Taneeka Chung, Kaitlyn Dinndorf, Sierra Dinndorf, Madison Dube, Allison England, Allison Fargo, Meghan Farrell, Laura Fuentes, Bianca Gallo, Jessica Lin, Katie Rogers, Marielle Starrett, Madison Wallace, Emily Zirkelbach)
P.S. We would like to thank Mr. Jerome Spooner for his time and information.