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Letter to the Editor: Happy “America Recycles Day”

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received November 15, 2022.

(November 15, 2022) — The Environmental Protection Agency has designated today, November 15, 2022, to be “America Recycles Day.” It’s a chance for committees like ours to remind everyone to do their part in managing all the stuff we toss out every single day. You’ve heard it all before, but the real question is this: Do you care?

Whether you have home pick-up or bring your trash to the Transfer Station, the first thing to toss away is an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to the waste you generate. The least we all can do is make sure we are recycling the right items and that they’re clean (and yes, that means really washing out those peanut butter jars; mayonnaise, too).

Our committee has been working to get food scrap waste out of our trash by joining with Blue Earth Compost to place food scrap barrels at the Transfer Station. You can get a free sticker that will allow you to use the Transfer Station just to drop off scraps. It’s been a great success and we’re hoping it will continue to grow.

On the less successful side, we have struggled to get cooperation on recycling from people using our town parks, like the Great Hill and Brickyard ball fields. There are trash and recycling barrels sitting side by side in both parks, but does anyone care? You would have to start by thinking about the dozens and dozens of Gatorade and water bottles, soda cans, etc., that were generated at the parks this past summer; most of the time they weren’t being placed in the blue recycling barrels.

What ends up happening is that the barrels in all the parks have a mix of trash and recyclables in them; when the hauler comes to do its weekly pick-up, all of that stuff has to be tossed into the same truck. Haddam Park & Rec and Haddam Little League are working with us to remedy this for next year’s spring and summer season, and we appreciate their willingness to help.

Another reason to care about this is all those nickels that are being tossed away. As of January 2023, Gatorade, energy drinks, seltzer, tea, coffee, juice and other containers will all become nickel-redeemable, and that nickel climbs to 10 cents as of January 2024. There is money in all that plastic for any person or any group who wants to make the effort to retrieve the containers and turn trash into cash. All you have to do is care.
Submitted by Joanne Nesti, Haddam Sustainability Committee


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