By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
The Department of Public Works (DPW) collaborated with Waste Management to provide a series of informational solid waste and recycling meetings for residents which were held on June 5, 6, 18 and 22, at various town locations.
David Snowdon, assistant to the town manager, and Ed Pacek from Waste Management (who will manage the contract) provided an overview of what residents can expect; how the program differs from the current system; and what can and cannot go into recycling bins.
The biggest question on peoples’ minds was what can and cannot be put in the recycling bins.
The recycling industry began to change in 2017 when China, the world’s leading receptacle of recycled material, discovered that they could no longer sustain this practice. They couldn’t continue to fuel their economic growth on the back of the environment. China changed their policies that have dramatically impacted recycling globally.
Pacek explained that there are two types of recycling: paper and cardboard will go into one bin and glass, plastic and cans in another.
One notable change is that pizza boxes can now be recycled as well as paper towel and toilet tissue rolls. However, shredded paper cannot, nor can food and beverage cartons and ice cream and frozen food containers.
Clean aluminum cans, bottles and foil, glass food and beverage bottles and jars as well as plastic bottles, jars, tubs and lids are all allowed – just give them a quick rinse before placing in the bin.
Clear clamshell containers, single use coffee pods, plastic film, wrap and bags, prescription bottles and medical containers are not allowed.
When asked why the town was changing haulers, Snowdon responded, “The current contract was for five years…the town put out a bid at the end of last October and solicited proposals from a number of different companies. After that process, Waste Management was the most advantageous for the town, both in cost and service provision.”
“Probably the biggest change that everybody is going to notice is the way that we are going to collect recycling,” Pacek explained. “You will put one type of recycling out every week.”
Beginning on July 1, everyone in town will put out their paper and cardboard on their collection day (which will remain the same.) The following week will be co-mingled recycling.
Another change involves the garbage and recycling being picked up at the same time in the same truck. Waste Management uses split-body trucks and Pacek claimed that they will greatly reduce truck traffic, are more efficient with a better carbon footprint.
Bulky items will now be collected only on Mondays and stickers will still be required. They can be purchased the same way as before. However, residents will need to notify the company when they have something to be picked up. Pacek suggested phoning 800-972-4545 before 5 p.m. on Thursdays for pickup the following Monday.
For more information about the new solid waste and recycling program and a complete recycling guide, visit http://home.wm.com/shrewsbury.