Bow is Recycling - Let's Keep It Clean!
From the Town of Bow Solid Waste and Recycling Committee
Similar to many other towns in New Hampshire, Bow was recently forced to reevaluate our recycling program due to increased costs associated with recycling. The Bow Solid Waste and Recycling Committee is pleased to announce that the Selectmen voted at its meeting on May 28, 2019 to continue to fund the recycling program. The annual cost to continue the recycling program is approximately $30,000. This estimate is based on the current market and assuming that our recyclables are designated as “Class A” recyclables. The designation of our recyclables as “Class A” is based on the amount of contamination (less than 5%) in the loads from Bow. In the event we do not receive a “Class A” designation, the cost of recycling will significantly increase and the town will again need to reevaluate its options.
It is imperative to the success of our recycling program that we reduce contaminants in our curbside recycling totes. Many of us are “aspirational recyclers” and will include items in our curbside recycling tote hoping that they can be recycled. If we are throwing away items in the hope that they are recyclable, we are creating more harm than good. Over the last two years, China has imposed strict restrictions over the acceptance of recycling loads that are deemed to be contaminated. With that in mind, Pinard Waste has created a new flyer called “Can I Recycle This? Know When It’s a NO!” The flyer helps identify the types of items that should not be recycled.
The most frequent items that contaminate recycling loads are plastic bags and Styrofoam. Those items should not be placed in the recycling bin, even if they have a recycling number on them. Styrofoam should be placed in the trash. Plastic bags can be recycled at several local supermarkets, and otherwise they should be reused or placed in the trash.
When it comes to plastic, according to Pinard, it is important to only recycle items that are “containers” or “vessels,” such as plastic bottles. Even if an item has a recycling number, it may not be recyclable because there is no market for it. Plastic toys, plastic utensils, straws, clothes hangers and bulky plastic items are considered contamination and should not be placed in the curbside recycling. Colored plastic cups (such as red Solo cups) are also not accepted for recycling. Metal (other than tin, clean aluminum foil and aluminum cans) is also not accepted for recycling.
It is important to empty beverage containers before putting them in the recycling bin. The liquids are not only messy, but can be deemed hazardous waste by recycling workers. While food containers do not need to be laboratory clean before recycling them, it is necessary to rinse containers such as peanut butter and catsup jars to avoid rodents and other pests from being attracted to the recycling load. And the ongoing pizza box question? According to Pinard, the actual box can be recycled unless it is heavily saturated with oil. All food should be scraped and removed from the pizza box. The plastic pizza saver used to protect the pizza from sticking to the box is not recyclable, and should be placed in the trash.
The Solid Waste and Recycling Committee wants to remind residents that the best way to avoid items from entering the waste stream is to reduce the purchase of items in single-use containers and bulky packaging. This can be accomplished in many ways, including the use of reusable shopping bags and beverage containers.
If you have specific questions about whether an item is recyclable, please check out www.recyclesmartma.org, or send an email to the Town of Bow Solid Waste and Recycling Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. The new flyer is also posted at the website at www. https://bownh.gov/289/Trash-Recycling-Services.