Town officials, seeking to reduce the amount of costly contamination in Woolwich’s recycling stream, will begin enforcing rules around what should and should not be recycled.
Beginning Monday, Dec. 3, recycling containers will be inspected at the curb; and if non-recyclable items are found in the bins or if recycling is in plastic bags, the bins and bags will be tagged to inform residents of the mistake and left to be corrected before the next pickup. Commonly misunderstood items that are not recyclable include plastic bags (including bagging recyclables in plastic trash bags), styrofoam, food waste, electronics, garden hoses and clothing/textiles.
“Recycling is not an ‘anything goes’ proposition,” Recycling and Solid Waste Committee Chair Jonathan Appleyard said. “The wrong things thrown into the recycling bin cannot be processed. When waste is thrown into recycling containers or put in plastic bags, it needs to be sorted out by staff at ecomaine – and that costs Woolwich and us taxpayers money.”
For information on items that can be recycled, please call or stop by the town office. On Election Day we ran out of "Recycle It!" stickers, so the town has ordered a reprint and will provide them free to residents who want to turn garbage cans into recycling bins. Town officials also recommend resources from ecomaine, which processes the the recycling, to learn what goes in the recycling bin, including a “Do/Don’t List” and the Recyclopedia mobile app. Both can be found at www.ecomine.org (Recyclopedia at the top of the home page and Do/Don’t list under Tours & Educational Outreach.