WRAP Report, March 2016

The Compost Is Coming!
by Joe Beer

For those of you who are excited about compost, and who wouldn’t be, there are about 150 cubic yards of compost just about ready for sale. Once the weather begins to act like spring, the compost will need to be screened and then it will, indeed, be ready to go. A small pickup load will cost about $10.00 and a large pick load about $20.00. Naturally the price includes the loading. The sale of the compost is more of a community service than a money maker; the center needs only to recoup its expenses. Once the recycling center has sorted out its costs, the final prices for the compost will be set. Given past history, the entire allotment of compost will be sold out before too long, so keep an ear to the compost.

Also coming soon will be a sign diagramming the proper traffic pattern for dropping off yellow bags and recycling materials. Occasionally, even in the midst of traffic, a customer will pull a U-turn from the compactor over to the recycling bays. A bit of a head scratcher there, but it happens. An equally troublesome maneuver involves backing up across traffic from the compactor to the bays. One accident ensued from such risky driving and there are always a number of close calls with arch looks. Good thing road-rage hasn’t made it to the Recycling Center, yet. The recycling folks will be asking us, if there is any traffic, to take a spin around the island rather than to fight across traffic to get from the compactor to the bays or vice versus. Thank you for helping with this.

The new face at the Center belongs to Wayne Croteau, a Walpole resident. Wayne, who was hired about two months ago, has been a volunteer in the past and is quickly on his way in getting up to recycling speed. Say hi to Wayne.

On a final note, don’t be shy, readers. Come on down to the Recycling Center. We like nothing more than welcoming new volunteers. Most volunteers work a two hour shift at the recycling bays, but there are other community service opportunities available. You can stop in at the Center to inquire; or give a call: 445-5197; or send an email: transfer@myfairpoint.net; or visit the web site to get the scoop: https://walpolerecycling.com.

 

WRAP Report by Joe Beer

Joe Beer sent along this WRAP report for Oct/Nov 2015

You might not see many kids out volunteering at the recycling center, but they are there, little
swarms of them. Every year a new cohort of Santa’s helpers, so to speak, sets about collecting and
sorting a sizable stream of recyclables that would otherwise be headed for landfills, with a stop at
your pocketbook along the way.

Santa’s invisible helpers are hiding out in the hallways of your local schools. They haven’t
always been there, but in 2010, with a little help from Mike Lewis of the school district and the staff at
the Walpole Recycling Center, the district begin a full-fledged recycling program in all four attendance
areas.

Each attendance area is some what different, but for the most part, 5th graders, except at the
high school of course, collect and sort the usuals of glass, paper and plastics. These are stored in
boxed trailers and are delivered to the Walpole Recycling Center on about a weekly basis. Of course,
this results in an additional savings for Walpole, as about 15 – 20 tons of recyclable materials are
added to Walpole’s annual output.

The recycling program produced an immediate savings for the school district of over $20,000 in
money it was spending to get rid of its trash. Nothing wrong with that. One of those win-win situations, though you could add on two more wins there: one for the environment which has 20 fewer tons of refuse to absorb and one for the young kids who learn something about preserving their planet.

There are a few offsetting costs to the program, but those are very minor. The district had to pay
for four boxed trailers, some recycling bins, and the time it takes for the weekly round up of the
trailers. In the main, the district now saves quite a bit of money every year by recycling so much of its
trash.

In the few short years since it began, the district recycling program has earned at least three
separate awards. Mike Lewis, Dori Ferreira in Alstead, and Sean Bordeur-Stevens in Charlestown
have all been recognized for their efforts by the NRRA, the principal recycling agency in the
northeast.

So, even though we can’t really see them, thank you to all the little helpers of the Fall Mountain
school district.

 

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.”