Wrap Report For May

Charles Blount sends this along:

At the top of the recycling news this time is the Grand Re-Opening of Walpole’s Re-Use Center. The Re-Use Center is that blue trailer on the right as you come into the Recycling Center. It has to be shut down each winter since it is unheated – but now, The Grand Re-opening! We all know about the Recycling Center but, you ask, why do we need a Re-Use Center too?

There are things around home that you no longer use. You hate to take that sort of thing to be just “disposed of,” after all, some of the things that you no longer use are quite valuable. What about Anna’s cuddly doll; it’s perfectly good still but Anna left for college two years ago. Same thing for Christopher’s little red wagon; he’s driving a Chevrolet now and besides, at 250 lbs, he won’t fit in the wagon any more! What about pots and pans, dishes, serving trays, good books and DVDs? If Dad brought a fancy new mixer home for you, what would you do with the one you’ve been using for years? You can’t really use these things any more, but perhaps someone else in our town really COULD use them.

Consider a young family that was burned out of their home this past week. They have a sudden, urgent need for a cuddly doll, a little red wagon, and a set of dishes. What happens when your kid breaks a leg; you have a sudden need for a set of crutches. Now, I don’t know how much a set of crutches costs, but when Paul gave me a tour of the Re-Use Center last week, there, in the back room, were several sets of crutches.

So, if you need these crutches what do they cost you? What about Anna’s cuddly doll, or Chris’s little red wagon? For some, less expensive items like these, the only cost to you is a reasonable donation to the local Food Shelf – in an amount that you can afford and that you are comfortable with. For more expensive stuff, like Chris’s stereo set he couldn’t take to college, or grandma’s old jewelry, it is sort of like a tag sale. The cost to you for these more expensive items, while still really small, helps to fund our local Food Shelf. With the number of our neighbors unemployed or employed only part time, the Food Shelf needs all the help we can give it. House fires, divorces, sudden unemployment, unexpected relocation and all sorts of other family events (including broken legs) come up, resulting in a need for cuddly dolls, red wagons, a set of dishes or crutches. The Re-Use Center is there for you – take advantage of it! Take a look through it to see what is there for you. You see, this is what your Re-Use Center is for; meanwhile, it helps US to support our Food Shelf, something we really need just now.

So, what do we citizens (taxpayers) have to do to have our Re-Use Center? We have to volunteer; not all of us of course, but enough to man the Re-Use Center every Thursday and Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM. The same thing goes for the Recycle Center, too (but it’s open three days: Tues, Thurs and Sat). We had two more volunteers start at the Recycle Center last month but we surely could use another three or four. And of course, now with the Re-Use Center Re-Opening, they will be needing some more volunteers as well. It’s just two hours per month; yes, per MONTH (not per week, or per day!). We who volunteer are “Paying it Ahead” for our home town, and we would like to have you join us; help enable us to make our Recycle Center and Re-Use Center serve all who live in our town.

Here’s an ITEM for you: A Thank You to all who brought their used motor oil in to the Recycle Center this past winter. Your Recycle Center did not have to spend a single DIME to heat the center – used motor oil did it ALL. One Tuesday morning in January it was 9 degrees BELOW zero outside; it was just fine inside the center. I know; it was my volunteer day. Paul sends a Big Thank You. We volunteers send a Big Thank you, too!

WRAP Report

Carolyn Norback sent along this WRAP report:

Kudos to the staff and volunteers at our recycling center for working through and surviving the Polar Vortex x 2. I hope we have seen the last of that phenomena.  December and January were not the easiest months to get through, even though there is heat in the center, made possible by reusing oil brought to the center. (P.S. the only expense regarding heat is a $70.00/year electric bill). I had a very interesting and pleasant conversation with Paul Colburn in preparing this update. For the upcoming new year, Paul tells me the budget has been prepared for town meeting, there will be no new articles put forth. While maintaining the status quo, he is always on the lookout for new products to recycle and buyers for them.  Outlets for our recycled products are both local and world wide. Check out the Walpole Recycling Website at walpolerecycling.com. The website is a treasure trove of pertinent information. If you have a question about what can or cannot be recycled, it’s on the website, if you have a question about volunteering, the schedule is on the website, want to know when the Reuse Center is open, that’s on the website too, and so much more. Thanks to Jill Robinson who does a great job of posting new information and maintaining the website.

Gentle reminders, only plastic with a 1 or 2  code can be recycled. Please follow signs on the recycle bins, this is very important as contamination of product is always a concern. Bottle caps go in your Walpole bag.  Traffic control; if you are only dumping trash in Walpole Bags, stay on your left, if you only want to access the recycle bins, stay on your right; if you want both you must choose where you want to start (left) and then drive all the way around to your next stop on the right; if you start (right) then drive all the way around to your next stop on left. Please do not drive diagonally across from trash to bins and be aware while you’re at the recycling center, you are in a traffic situation, just like on any road or highway. As always volunteers are very welcome. Again, thank you to all the volunteers and staff at the recycling center for keeping it the best there is.

Carolyn Norback

 

WRAP Report For December 13, 2013

Here’s the WRAP report that was submitted for December 13, 2013:

W.R.A.P.

Walpole Recycling Action Project

Remember the days when, as kids, we got up on Christmas morning at the first light of dawn for the excitement of seeing our tree and what Santa had left for us. We tiptoed, not making a sound lest we wake Mom and Dad; they’ll surely come and spoil our adventure!

 

Well, Christmas is here again! As we prepare ourselves for the frightfully frenetic festivities ahead, let us all pause to give thanks for our many blessings. Let us all be thankful for our Walpole Recycling Program; a program respected throughout New Hampshire and admired by neighboring towns. Let us be thankful also for Paul Colburn and Paul’s productive people who staff the Recycle Center; people who have created and innovated this past year to accommodate the needs of our town in the face of unforeseen events such as the demise of our local Wheelabrator plant in Claremont.

 

Let us be thankful as well, for all the Walpole people who have adopted a RECYCLE attitude, dumping the dreaded “DUMP” mentality. We are especially thankful for recyclers who carefully check out and FOLLOW the signs at the various recycling bins; not simply “dumping” a bag or box of miscellaneous “stuff” into the first bin they come to!

 

At the heart of all this is an understanding of what RECYCLING really means. When we have finished with our daily newspaper for example, we can take it to the Recycle Center where Paul’s productive people find a BUYER for your discarded paper. That buyer takes it to his plant where it is shredded, bleached, dried and, when combined with many other similar papers, is made back into rolls of fresh, clean paper that the buyer can then SELL back to the newspaper. That’s the whole idea: Paul finds buyers for stuff we no longer need and those buyers clean it, often reformatting it to suit another purpose, and SELL it to a company that needs it – and everybody is happy. By selling recyclables, Paul saves us tax dollars, and by re-purposing those recyclables, the buyers hire people and make a living. And finally, if you were the Keene Sentinel (for example) would you rather buy your newsprint from a recycler (cheap), or cut down a couple hundred acres of trees (much more expensive to both your newspaper AND TO THE PLANET)??

 

All this happy selling and buying activity however, is based in the premise that what is being bought and sold has NOT BEEN CONTAMINATED. A buyer for #2 plastic (milk jugs and the like) WILL NOT BUY from us if what we offer has been contaminated with #1, #3, #5, etc. plastic. Here’s why: a big vat of “pure” #2 plastic can be cast into a very large number of nice, new milk jugs, but if the vat has been contaminated with #1, #3, etc. plastic, it just turns into glop and can’t be cast into anything. The buyer suffers a huge loss and Walpole’s Recycle Center is black-listed!

 

Follow those signs on the recycle bins – it’s VERY important.

 

The same principle applies to slick magazine paper and “general office” paper. If it is “contaminated” we can’t recycle it (can’t find a buyer for it). Until recently, I had thought that “paper was paper.” Well, it turns out that the big machines that clean and shred recycled paper, CAN NOT clean or shred WRAPPING PAPER. RIBBON clogs up the shredders and brings the whole operation to a halt. So, our Recycle Center has a rule: NO WRAPPING PAPER – NO RIBBON – NO SCOTCH TAPE or WRAPPING TAPE. Just chuck that sort of stuff in your yellow Walpole Bag – not a big deal. If the buyers for our “general office” paper find that our supply is CONTAMINATED with wrapping paper and ribbon – that IS a big deal – for you and for me – directly!

 

It’s been an active, interesting year – a good year. We here in Walpole do have a lot for which to be thankful. Do set aside some time this season for love, thoughtfulness, generosity and thankfulness – and don’t lose sight of the “Reason for the Season.”

Volunteers Still Needed In December 2013

Paul and I just agreed on a joint New Year’s Resolution to get the volunteer schedule posted in a more timely manner in 2014. But meanwhile, this tardy posting gives me the opportunity to wish you Happy Holidays! And to make a note that our recycling efforts would be happier with more volunteers for the rest of the month. See those neon color blocks? Volunteers needed there!

volunteer schedule for Dec 2013