WRAP report for March 2015

Joe Beer sent along this WRAP Report

Peanuts Anyone?

If you’ve been wondering where you might find free packing peanuts or free bubble wrap, wonder no more. The Recycle Center, where else. Brown paper bags, plastic bags, random magazines and books are also available. Come in and browse around; you might even decide to signup as a volunteer. Volunteers are always welcome; and signing up would be a two for one: you’ll be doing a little bit of community service; plus, volunteering at the center saves us all some money.

If you don’t have time to donate, maybe you have food to donate? The Recycle Center has setup a box for donations of non-perishable food items for the Fall Mountain Food Shelf, which finds itself in a moment of need. A little help there would be most welcome; on your next trip to recycling, just inquire within as to where to leave your donation.

The Recycling Center’s budget will basically be the same as last year, though there will be a separate article on the town warrant requesting money to repair the burn pit. The pit is about 15 years old and in need of both reinforcing and repair. The article will request funds up to $10,000.

Next door to recycling, the ReUse It Center brought in $3,273 last year. That money comes in the form of donations as people take away items that they can re-use. All monies go to the Fall Mountain Food Shelf. The center is managed by Mike Nerrie; a considerable thank you to Mike and other volunteers.

You might have noticed a new face at the Recycle Center. Bob Martyr has joined the crew, in amove over from the town highway department. Bob and his wife recently moved from Arizona to NewHampshire. What would bring the two of them here? Beautiful downtown Walpole. No surprise there. And family that had previously moved to the area. Understandable. And the weather. Say What? They were plain old sick and tired of triple digit heat. No, that doesn’t sound pleasant at all. Besides, who can not love fluffy snow or the fresh chill of a still winter morning……………… though it’s possible that some of us could take a touch of April right now.

WRAP Report for February, 2015

Carolyn Norback sent along this WRAP report for February, 2015.

While preparing my W.R.A.P. report for February, 2015, I was struck by the similarity of the weather conditions of 2014. A polar vortex x2 happened and is now on the verge of being the same for 2015. Now we are asking the question, why do we continue to live in New England? Here are a few reasons: 1) We don’t like to admit defeat, (we’re tough); 2) No need to hunt for conversation starters (everyone wants to talk about the weather); Provides the answer to “cold enough for you” and the excuse to repeat that old “saw, if you don’t like weather now, wait 5 minutes”. Not to beat a dead horse, yes it is very cold, but here at the recycle center we volunteers and staff are toasty warm. We owe all this delicious comfort to the wise stewardship of Paul Coburn and his staff by reusing oil brought to the center to keep heating expenses down to about $70.00/year.

So even though Jack Frost is out and about, I am still very enthusiastic about volunteering at the center. The 2 hours always fly by. Since I’m mostly there early Tuesday morning, sometimes we start slow, but then traffic builds up and we can hardly keep up with counting cars. Yes, every truck, van, car and suv is counted, so the select board knows how useful and busy the center is. With holiday parties and celebrations the center is up to the elbows with products to recycle. Many thanks and kudos to those separating refundables, makes sorting plastic, glass and aluminum containers go faster. FYI, if you’re not sure about where to look on the container to see if it refundable, the plastic and glass bottles (beer, wine, soda, water and sometimes juice) can be found somewhere near the label, sometimes on the side or bottom, and sometimes they may be hard to see. The aluminum cans are usually found on the top near the tab, and any volunteer and staff will be happy to point it out. If your loyal to a brand that is refundable and has VT stamped on it, makes it much easier for you also. Any can plastic or glass container is refundable as long as VT is stamped on it along with other states. Of course we have lots of volunteers who will take California refundables to California, not so much to Maine this time of year. Oh, yes the caps, please try to remember to remove them from the container and deposit them in your yellow Walpole trash bags. There is always room for more volunteers on the schedule. Sign up if you fancy a friendly, warm and welcoming environment in which to give back to the community.

Wrap Report

Joe Beer sent along this WRAP Report:

 

Know Your Vitals!

There are some things a person needs to know. For example, Americans generate 4.38 lbs of trash per person, per day! Of which they recycle or compost 1.51 lbs. That’s a lot of trash. But, big question: where does the missing 2.87 lbs per person per day go? Think yellow bags, then landfills.

California has done it again. The state just banned the use of plastic bags, the first such move in America, though not a novelty in other parts of the world. Why would Californians do a thing like that? A plastic bag has an average life usage of about 20 minutes, store-to-home. The average length of time it takes for a plastic bag to breakdown is about 1000 years.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The US goes through about 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually” which amounts to “an estimated 12 million barrels of oil”. That’s a lot bags and a lot of oil. Maybe re-usable shopping bags are good idea.

And how is the recycling effort going here in hometown Walpole? This year is shaping up to be a very average year in both expenses and income. Total expenses to run the Walpole Recycling Center for the year are about $320,000 (labor, equipment, facilities, processing recyclables, get rid of the yellow bags, etc….). But, because we recycle, the town “earns” about $180,000 per year in recycled materials. So about 2/3 of our trash expenses are recovered by minimizing our use of those yellow trash bags.

This spring the Recycling Center will once again be selling screened compost, of which they expect to have about 120 cubic yards. The cost will be about $10 for a small pick-up load and about $20 for a large pick-up load. The Center does donate free compost to schools and community gardens.

As a last note, Tom Fitzgerald has just retired from the Recycle Center this October. Tom, the main man on the baler as well as on many other miscellaneous tasks, has been with the Recycle Center since 2007. From all of us Walpolians, a collective: “Thank you, Tom, for all your years of service; and we wish you the best as you enter a new phase in your life.”

 

 

 

 

 

Reuse Center Closing Soon!!

It’s time to finish out-placing your previously loved items or discovering new treasures among the previously loved items others have dropped off at the Reuse Center. The Center closes at the end of October!

Wrap Report for October, 2014

Carolyn Norback sent along October’s WRAP report:

My last volunteer stint at the recycling center, I again found myself deep in the sorting of plastic!!!! One would think it should be an easy shift, sorting plastic, especially since most bottles or containers are relatively clean and easy to toss. Look for #1 or #2, each to it’s own box. Easy peasy, right! After two hours of sorting you kind of think, should I be going faster? How come it takes so long to sort? As soon as a load comes in, it should be gone quickly. Well here’s the answer. The center realizes a fairly lucrative amount of money from returnable plastic bottles, cans and glass bottles. Handling each can and bottle to determine the returnable from the rest is time consuming and labor intensive. More experienced volunteers are much faster at sorting and I expect to become more proficient as I gain more experience.

 

And then a very nice recycler handed me a bag and said, “these are all returnable”. Wow, a real eye opener. I talked to Paul Coburn about maybe designating a box just for returnable items, plastic, glass or aluminum. Well Paul thought it would be more confusing to add three more boxes for people to sort into. Then I thought back to conversations I’ve had with different people who do recycle and wish they had more time to volunteer at the center, especially since I’m so enthusiastic about volunteering myself. Then I talked again to Paul and said since I’m reporting on this months WRAP, we could use this forum to enlist volunteers in another way, asking recyclers to put their returnable items in a separate bag. I don’t think to would take much more time, since you’re recycling anyway, and it would certainly free up volunteer time to do more at the center. It could be a win-win situation, good for the center and good for people who want to volunteer but are time strapped.

 

If you do have time and would like to volunteer, glass crushing is a really cool thing to do. Battery packing can be exciting, they haven’t yet let me at the cardboard, but I’m looking forward to that. The best part of being a Recycle Center Volunteer, is working with Paul, Paul, Greg and the other volunteers. And if you get picked as volunteer of the month, you get a free lunch. What could be better?

 

Carolyn Norback

WRAP Report for September 2014

This in from Charles Blount:

One of the really wonderful things about living in Walpole is the willingness of the people to share their resources, time and talent for the benefit of their neighbors and their town. Actually, the same could likely be said about many of the small towns in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Consider for example, the Bandstand on the Town Green; a gift to the town in memory of Judy Bailey. Consider the beautiful new ball fields up on the North Meadow and the Veterans Memorial on the Green. These are among the THOUSANDS of gifts our town has received over the years. Consider the refurbishment of the flagpole and its huge golden eagle up on top (gifts of time and talent); these too are gifts to the town, for all of us to enjoy.

Consider those who serve on the School Board, the Planning Board, the Library Committee and the Recreation Committee (among others). These people also give a gift to our town – a gift of their time and talent. They don’t undertake these assignments in order to get rich, or to get even so much as a penny. Their gift of time and talent benefits all the people in our town, but most especially, our youngsters. Hundreds of volunteer hours go into the coaching of our Walpole girls and boys basketball teams, soccer, baseball and swimming teams. All these gifts make Walpole a wonderful place in which to live for all of us, for our children and, in due course, their children.

Volunteers are absolutely necessary for many of the functions and services available here in Walpole. We have a recycling program here that permits a family to dispose of their household trash at a cost of about $100 per year. Were they to opt for curbside pickup by a commercial firm it would likely set them back about $600 or $700 per year. Thanks to the Walpole Recycling program, this saving is available to ALL the families in our town. So how can Walpole afford to provide a service that would otherwise cost us at least six times as much? There are two factors: (1) Recycling, and (2) Volunteers.

Recycling means accepting newspapers, plastic, cans, cardboard and the like and SELLING it to firms that melt it down, shred it up, etc., making it into a resource resell-able as a raw material to businesses and industries. (Where do you suppose the Keene Sentinel gets the paper on which it prints the newspaper? And where do you think the plastic for those milk bottles on the grocer’s shelf comes from?)

Volunteers means that we (the town) could not afford to run a recycling center in which all of the work was done by paid employees. At that sort of labor cost it wouldn’t make any sense to operate a recycle center and we’d ALL have to pay that $600 – $700 per year!

All this really only addresses the cost and convenience issues but, for many of us, there is a larger issue: the environment and our planet. Every milk jug recycled is one milk jug that does NOT end up in a land fill where is does not (CANNOT) decompose.

In my view, we all have a responsibility to give back to our town; a responsibility – a DUTY. For those who can, there are projects that need to be funded (that lets ME out!). For those who can, there are refurbishment projects (like that big beautiful eagle on top of our flagpole) that require special talents (that lets ME out!) But for “regular” people like me, there are opportunities to volunteer at the Walpole Recycling Center (that I CAN do, and DO – two hours each month).

Just call Paul Colburn at 445-5197 and speak with him or one of his people – OR, JUST ASK ONE OF YOUR NEIGHBORS WHO ALREADY VOLUNTEERS at the Recycle Center. It’s your DUTY – OUR DUTY to give back to the town we love so much!

Volunteer Schedule & Pics of Watkins Memorial Garden

Here is the volunteer schedule for August, 2014. Big holes this Saturday! Can you work 12 to 2 or 2 to 4?

volunteer schedule for August, 2014You can also find the schedule online.

The George Watkins Memorial Garden is stunning now. You can see a couple more pics on the website, but it’s worth a special trip to the Recycling Center.

memorial garden 07 14 whole