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Recycling just got easier, with no more separate bins

Posted by Johanna Seltz  January 21, 2011 10:02 AM

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Starting next week, folks won’t have to separate their paper when they put out the garbage.

Selectmen voted to try “single stream” recycling, which means paper, plastic, glass and metal all can go in the same container as long as it’s marked for recycling. Before, paper had to be in a separate bin.

“This will be a huge convenience for all our residents, who have been diligently separating their paper for recycling,” said Marion McEttrick, chair of Board of Selectmen. “We think it’s really good news for our residents.”

The change was made mostly to make life easier for residents, she said, but might have the added benefit of increasing recycling. Milton currently recycles about 56 percent of its waste – the second best record in the state, she said.

Waste Management, the company that collects garbage for the town, will provide “recycling” stickers that can go on any size container. Previously, materials for recycling had to be placed in special bins.

Residents will continue to put ordinary trash in separate cans. Milton has a “pay as you throw” system, with a charge per barrel of trash.

On a less encouraging note, the selectmen learned at their January 20 meeting, that the town has spent about $340,000 already on snow and ice removal - and the figure could go up to $600,000 “because it keeps snowing,” McEttrick said.

Milton, like many other towns, typically under-budgets for snow and ice – this year’s amount is $150,000 – and uses money from the next fiscal year to make up the difference. “It cuts into our reserves, it’s money we don’t have next year,” McEttrick said.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seelenfam@verizon.net.

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