Letters to the Editor Bedford Journal

To the Editor:

On a beautiful autumn Tuesday, Oct. 6, I spent several hours at the Bedford Farmer’s Market.

While I did purchase some fresh produce, my goal was not shopping but talking with local residents about the recycling program in our town of Bedford. Specifically, I wanted people to be aware of the financial impact on our town taxes when citizens choose to not recycle when using the Bedford Transfer Station.

Town "dumps" are a thing of the past. All materials brought to the transfer station need to be moved on to a different location.

Jim Stanford, public works director, provided me with the current cost to the town budget for transferring the garbage and the recyclable items.

For example, cardboard that is placed in the garbage trailers costs the town $67.45 per ton to transfer to the landfill. However, that same cardboard placed in one of the recycling compactors costs the town $16.90 to dispose of.

In 2013, our town council set as one of their goals a 10 percent increase in recycling levels in the town of Bedford. Their letter clearly laid out the financial benefits to the town budget. At that time, the town council said our level of recycling was 16 percent. At my last trip to the transfer station, the information board showed that our rate of recycling was 17 percent.

During my time at the farmer’s market, I spoke with many people, some of whose comments I share next.

People were interested in purchasing the blue recycling bins that were part of my display, but unfortunately they were not for sale. Others spoke about how nice the town employees were at the transfer station. One Bedford High School teacher asked for several flyers so that she could post them around the school.

A student at BHS told me that the students do an excellent job recycling. A granddaughter of mine who attends Riddle Brook School is full of recycling facts and eager to improve recycling within our extended family. Perhaps it will be up to the high school and elementary school students to improve the rate of recycling in Bedford.

I encourage the Bedford Town Council to review the negative financial impact of the low rate of recycling on our town budget. We are literally throwing town tax money into the garbage.

Judith G MacLellan