Shred Event, E-Recycling, Compost Bins and More
By Sally MillerNext week, to celebrate Earth Month, Sustainable Woodstock is offering local residents and small businesses an alternative to throwing items into the landfill. At our community recycling event on Saturday, April 8 we will have a shred truck and electronics recycling. Last year we collected 5 tons of electronic waste and shredded one ton of paper.
As stewards of the environment, we are responsible for preserving and protecting our resources for ourselves and for future generations. Some of the major benefits of recycling are:
- Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
- Conserving natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
- Saving energy by reusing materials that have already been processed
- Preventing pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
- Helping to sustain the environment for future generations
Besides, recycling is really just common sense.
Solid waste consists of everyday items we use and then throw away. According to an EPA report, in 2014 Americans generated about 258 million tons of solid waste. About 34.6 percent was recycled and composted which prevented the release of approximately 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere—that’s like taking over 38 million cars off the road for a year. But, at a recycle rate of 34%, we still have a long way to go to be waste neutral.
Recycling paper is an easy way to start. It obviously decreases the total amount of virgin timber that must be harvested to produce paper, but, in addition to landfill space saved, each case of recycled paper saves approximately 1 tree, 20 gallons of oil, 350 gallons of water, and 200 kwh of energy. Also eliminated are 3 pounds of air-polluting emissions. Those are big benefits to receive for changing to products that are often indistinguishable from ones made from virgin content.
During the recycling event our contractor, Vermont Shred, processes your paper on site. The shredded material is compacted and mixed, making it virtually unidentifiable. Then, the shredded papers is used to manufacture other recycled paper products.
Electronic waste, or “e-waste,” includes computers, monitors, televisions, printers, and other electrical devices. The rapid expansion of technology, combined with the relatively short shelf life of many electronic devices, means that more e-waste is generated each year. If these discarded devices end up in landfills or are incinerated, they can cause major environmental problems as some materials found in them are extremely hazardous including lead, mercury, and cadmium.
Each year, the United States alone produces up to 50 million tons of e-waste. Of this, only 20-25% is recycled safely and responsibly. The other 75% ends up in landfills. Fortunately, in Vermont, our electronic waste law bans the disposal of certain electronic devices and provides for free and convenient collection of e-waste. Sustainable Woodstock has applied for a special one-day permit from the State of Vermont and our ethical electronics recycling will be done by Good Point Recycling (a division of American Retroworks Inc.) which is a nationally-recognized electronics recycling company, consulting office, and a respected expert in “Fair Trade Recycling”.
Based in Middlebury, they are one of the region’s leading “e-waste” recycling operations.
This year we are working with our partners at the Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste District to help promote household composting. As of July 1, 2020 all yard debris and food scraps (except meat and bones) must be kept out of your trash. Residents of GUV District member towns, including Bridgewater, Hartland, Pomfret and Woodstock, can get big savings by purchasing an outdoor compost bin at a reduced price. You can find the Bin order form here or the back of the GUVSWD 2017 Green Guide. If you order one by April 6, you can pick it up at the recycling event.
It’s always important to remember that, while recycling helps our environment, the largest impact in your personal carbon footprint can be achieved through the reduction of the total amount of materials consumed, rather than attempting to recycle them afterwards.
Our Community Recycling Day will take place on Saturday, April 8 from 10:00am – 1:00pm at Union Arena on the grounds of the Woodstock Union High School. The event is free, but donations will be accepted. For a complete list of items we are collecting click here or more information, email Sally or call 457-2911.
Do One Thing:
Join us on Saturday, April 8 at Union Arena for our Recycling Event