Why Do We Recycle?

We encourage recycling for many reasons...

Landfill closings

Our society has become an ever-increasing throw away society. As a result of this, landfills are filling up and closing on a daily basis. In Massachusetts, there are only 7 operating landfills. This number is only a fraction of what the previous level had been. Since landfills are not as readily available, many communities have turned to incineration. This is a problem because of air emission issues and increasing government regulations. As a result this is becoming less of an option. By recycling, we can eliminate a large portion of the waste stream.

In Marlborough our solid waste is handled at the WeCare Environmental LLC co-composting facility. The solid waste, collected curb-side, is co-composted with residuals from our two wastewater treatment plants. The product from this process is a soil amendment and is considered a recycled material. Compostable material entering this process will exit as a usable agricultural product. Leaves and yard-waste, and household paper products will pass through the process and become a soil amendment product, however, for every ton that enters the process, the city pays WeCare $94.00. By recycling, or home composting the yard waste, these per-ton payments are eliminated. This also opens up capacity at the WeCare Facility for use  for a more appropriate material.

Preservation of natural resources

By recycling, we are able to reduce demand on our natural resources. Our natural resources are a limited supply and, should the use of our resources continue at the present rate, its possible that we could see restrictions on their use in our lifetime. Proper recycling can extend the use of these resources.

Save money

With landfil closures and increased regulation of incinerators, solid waste disposal (rubbish) costs have increased dramatically. Disposal costs in our area are around $100.00 per ton. In Marlborough, disposal rates are about $94.00 per ton. For every ton of material that is recycled, we will not have to pay the $94.00. It has been calculated that, for every 5% increase in the curb-side recycling rate, the city will save about $75,000. This happens as a result of the way our recycling contract is structured. The recycling collection contract includes a fixed cost for collection and disposal of the recyclable material at a location for re-use. An increase in the recycling rate does not equate to an increase in the recycling contract costs.

State waste bans

The State of Massachusetts DEP has instituted a solid waste ban for certain materials. By doing so, they have banned the items listed below from being in the waste stream. Under state law, should WeCare identify higher than nominal concentrations of the banned material, they are required to report it to the city and copy the DEP. This could result in DEP waste load inspections and possibly the rejection of solid waste loads from the WeCare Facility. Once again, this will equate to increased disposal costs to the city and ultimately the taxpayers.

Banned items

Newspapers, Junk Mail, Office Paper, Metal Food Containers, Yard Waste, White Goods (washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc.), Plastic Food Containers  (1-7), CRT's, Used Engine Oil, Building Construction Materials, Glass Containers, Tires, and Fluorescent Light Bulbs.

Remember, in order to further preserve our natural resources, we must promote the purchase of products made from recycled material. We can recycle everything but, if people do not develop a market for products made from these materials, they will just stockpile, will have no market for them and ultimately, there will be higher disposal costs for the recyclable materials. So remember to Close The Loop and purchase products made from recycled materials. In most cases they are indistinguishable from products made from virgin material.