An idea that’s worth recycling

Many years ago, the Wilton Recycling Center started a system of handing out stickers for use of the center to residents of its five member towns – Wilton, Lynde­borough, Mason, Greenville and Temple. For some reason, that sticker system dis­appeared.

Now it has reappeared, and for the same reason it appeared all those years ago: People from other than those five towns are using the center to dump their trash, etc., and because the center has to pay to have its trash hauled away, nonres­idents are costing the five towns money.

The sticker system seems perfectly reasonable. People from other than the five towns involved in the center should take responsibility for getting rid of their own stuff. If they have no means of recy­cling other than sneaking into the Wilton center, that is a problem they can, and should, address with their respective town governing bodies.

Lest you think the sticker program is be­ing used to raise revenue, be advised that the stickers are free. We do have a minor concern about limiting the stickers to two per family; some families have three, even more, cars because they have chil­dren living at home who might be tasked with recycling now and then. Without a sticker, they couldn’t use their own cars. It probably isn’t that big an issue, but it could be a problem for some folks and it might have to be addressed at some point.

Other than that, though, we have no problem with this.

We also like the idea of re-forming a Re­cycling Committee to encourage the resi­dents of the five towns to use the center. There are people who use private haulers, and that’s fine on one level, but it obviates their involvement in something that is of benefit to us all, and that is recycling.

The website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives this list of the benefits of recycling:

  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators.
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals.
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.
  • Saves energy.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.
  • Helps sustain the environment for fu­ture generations.
  • Helps create new, well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing indus­tries in the United States.

We find it a bit of a wonder that people still, in this day and age, have to be en­couraged to recycle. Oh, sure, it’s a pain sometimes to load the car and drive to the recycling center just to unload the car and parcel out your stuff. And in Wilton, it’s more of a challenge than at some oth­er sites because the center can be very specific. For instance:

You put green glass in its own contain­er, not in with the brown glass or the clear glass. They go into their own containers.

And clean paper? Not in with the dirty paper. Newspapers? Not in with the clean paper or the dirty paper.

Pizza boxes? Read the signs.

Metal? Over in that big dumpster be­cause the center gets money for metal.

Recycling in Wilton isn’t just recycling; it’s exercise involving a bit of carrying and walking, so …

Recycling is good for the Earth.

Recycling is good for you.

Be sure, though, to get your stickers by Jan. 1, and if you’re leasing your vehicle, be sure you have proof of residency. For those driving non-leased vehicles, they must be registered in one of the five re­cycling center towns. If your vehicle isn’t registered in Wilton, Mason, Lyndebor­ough, Greenville or Temple, you probably shouldn’t be using the center anyway.

As a new Recycling Committee would, we encourage everyone to recycle and we encourage every town not involved in a recycling program to get involved in one. Hurling things into landfills is the equiv­alent of watching television via rabbit ears – it is just so lame.

Oh, and hurling your plastic water/ juice/soda containers out your car win­dow and onto the side of the road makes you worse than lame. Much, much worse.