Finally we can recycle milk and juice boxes too!
Monday, January 6, 2014
~ from New Castle’s Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB)
The SAB is excited to report that the town now accepts more recycling materials than ever before. Not only does recycling reduce the amount of waste that must be burned or buried, conserve natural resources and reduce pollution, but the town saves $70 per ton of garbage recycled rather than dumped. Below is a list of Enhanced Recycling items for 2014—but remember that these items must be placed with plastics, not paper:
* waxed coated containers: milk, juice, ice cream, frozen food, butter
* aseptic box containers, such as those for juice, soup, broth
* all plastic bags 1 thru 7 (numbers appear in the triangle)
How can the SAB help you in your efforts toward sustainability?
I notice that the town’s mailing calls some of these boxes “wax coated”—but there is no wax used in these products nowadays. From http://earth911.com/news/2012/01/02/recycling-mystery-milk-and-juice-cartons/
“Cartons are wax coated.
False! Cartons do not contain any wax and have not for many years. All cartons are made mainly from paper. Gable-top (or refrigerated) cartons contain additional layers of plastic, while aseptic (or shelf-stable) cartons contain additional layers of plastic and aluminum. Cartons were designed to keep the product inside as fresh as possible, blocking out light and odors that may cause products to spoil. A cool fact about cartons – the colorful labeling on the outside is printed on the thin plastic layer. When recycled, removing that layer leaves behind valuable paper fibers that are used to make new paper products.”
I’m happy we can recycle these items now, but it’s important to be accurate. If it’s Suburban Carting that made this mistake, the SAB should enlighten them.
Armonk has a “Recyclopedia” on its town website.
We need one too. I have a feeling people didn’t even know that these cartons were NOT able to be recycled. We need an easy reference tool on an improved town website (Rob Greenstein has said the town website will be improved—please include a recyclopdea on it!)
Can our SAB work with Energize NY and Energize Bedford to make the home energy assessment process—and subsequent recommended improvements to our houses—less confusing?
I can think of something I want from SAB:
Explain to residents who live in a sewer district—but without sewers—how they can reclaim money from the County for septic tank cleaning. This is like the best-kept secret in the county. Is the county still offering it? Why isn’t SAB shouting out this opportunity for residents? We pay taxes for NO SEWERS.
Plus—can SAB explain how I can get myself OUT OF my sewer district if I don’t have sewers?
Dear SAB: Please outline a practical and healthy lawn care program for residents to follow, advising me whether to / when to fertilize, how short to cut grass, when to over-seed, how to “leave leaves” to feed the lawn?
And publish a list of native trees and plants that will do well in our climate and soil.
There’s a lot of difference of opinion about whether to wash out recyclables. Waste water rinsing them out when they will be super washed and super treated later in the recycling process? Not so sure. Can SAB answer that? Their mailing says these things “should be rinsed clean.” Please clarify.
I get things in the mail from Con Ed, Mountain Energy, and other alternative energy producing companies that claim I can reduce the cost of my electricity by switching to them. Are they for-real? I’d like to see SAB research this question and give us an opinion on whether to commit to these alternative providers.
The mailing is not clear about what can be commingled. The categories run from A to E, but A through D are things that I believe can go together (glass, metal, plastic bags, packing peanuts, milk cartons)—but E is paper and corrugated cardboard, which are NOT to be commingled with A-D, correct?
I’d like a report from the SAB on how we’re doing with once a week pick up. Did it have the intended effect of people recycling more and better?
Some of us would be happy if we could just get a pick up after a storm. We were ignored Friday (understandably) but are now told no pick up till Tuesday. What happened to Saturday and Monday? Someone needs to talk to Sanipro.
Here’s the link for more info on the septic reimbursement. It doesn’t really seem to be a SAB matter, someone in town government should remind the peeps with septic tanks that they can get this reimbursement.
As a member of the SAB I am delighted to see these questions. We have a meeting next week and will publish answers to these in NCNOW. Thanks so much for all your ideas, questions and input.
Ziplock bags can be recycled. Can they be co-mingled with those plastic grocery bags? And, if they can, will the Recycling Dept. let the entire community know they can recycle their Ziplock bags?
Dear Mr. Goldsmith,
Thank you for your promise to address some of the questions. The info flyer sent with the Sanipro schedule isn’t exactly the clearest of documents. And it’s nice to know that we can ask for clarifications.
Are the caps for water bottles and soda bottles recyclable?
I, too, feel there’s simply too much information out here for me to focus on anything—even if it’s important. Please develop some kind of easy go-to place for me to find out recycling info and explanations of more complicated issues. Town website would be OK but only once it undergoes serious improvement. I’ve no patience with it so far.
I agree with “Category Confusion”. Please make it easy and clear for us. I have so many balls in the air I just won’t recycle if I can’t do it easily.
Here is recycling made easy. If it has a triangle on it, recycle it. Can commingle plastics, cans and bottles. Paper separately. Boxes, except ones with food stains like pizza boxes that have grease on them, get recycled. Tin foil, recycle.
Electronics should be brought to the town recycling center for proper disposal and recycling. Books to town recycling center. Appliances too.
In a perfect world, your food scraps would get composted, but if you must, that gets thrown out in garbage. Garbage should consist of only packaging that does not have the triangle on it.
It has always been understood that pizza boxes could be recycled unless they were caked with food and crud and that a few tiny and inevitable grease stains would not prevent recycling. Perhaps someone with real expertise could clarify.
With respect to pizza boxes, the simple solution is to let the pros sort it out. Leave the box between your trash can and your recycling can/bin and let the appropriate pro pick it up.
Pepperoni and Onion on Mine,
No anchovies? I do what you say and they always recycle.
Much of the rest of the country is using single stream. What are our plans? This town seems to like to talk about sustainability. Living it is something else.
@behind the times: We are on a dual stream. Paper and other recyclables. I am not sure I see the problem with that versus a single stream. We are ahead of most. We are subject to the processing plant’s restrictions and capabilities.
Where are the promised answers?
Can we now include plastic caps in with plastic recycling? I was told at the recycling center that we could—can you confirm? Does that include the soft plastic ones, like the flip-off ones from milk gallons, or just the harder ones, typically screw offs? Thanks.