That's good news that the packer will be able to pick up from the trash receptacles in the downtown area, but it sounds like we might be missing the opportunity to initiate curbside recycling.
I've been thinking about the curbside recycling as part of my 'Sustainable Design' class project at the Boston Architectural College masters certificate program. I'm also a resident and I'd love to see Curbside Recycling a reality
Yesterday, to support a school presentation I'm making, I walked around Needham Center and took some pictures of the trash receptacles. The one by Walgreens was overflowing with some trash on the street and the one at Not Your Average Joe's was full. Both of them had both paper, glass and plastic containers. Then I went to the Recycling Station and I see all the dedicated bins for paper, cardboard, plastic and glass. Knowingly or unknowingly, Needham is sending a mixed message.
The unspoken message is that if you drive a car you can recycle, if you're on foot in the town center you cannot recycle and it's okay to mix paper, glass, trash, plastics, batteries, and other garbage together. As we know, paper is the biggest component of landfills. That's ashame because it's so preventable and recyclable.
I have two thoughts on proposed solutions.
1) At each trash receptacle station we should place two barrels side by side. They should be marked 'Paper' and the other 'Plastics and Glass'. Ideally, it should be three: 'Paper', 'Plastics and Glass', and 'Trash'. Since the trash would be divided into the the two or three receptacles, the receptacles could be smaller and less obtrusive. And since the receptacles could be smaller, I'm thinking they could even be off the street and attached to light poles. Boston used to have this type of receptacle (and may still use them...don't know).
2) For easier recognition, I suggest that the receptacles also have a dominating color like blue for paper, and green for plastics, and yellow for trash. I think the color should be at least a 6" tall ring around the top.
I would like to be actively involved in this green initiative. Please keep me current with the progress and meetings. Thank you.
John Bergdoll, firstname.lastname@example.org 781-444-8883
There's good news on this front. Chip Laffey, Director of Needham's RTS (and now also Director of Public Facilities), has been a leader in expanding recycling in Needham (the most recent DEP statistics show Needham as #1 statewide). Chip participates in Green Needham representing the Town and we were supporting his effort this year to secure funding from Town Meeting for the equipment needed to expand the recycling program to the Schools. One of the additional benefits of this program is that the packer truck that we will acquire this fall will also be used to pick up from trash receptacles in the downtown.
The missing piece is some sort of receptacles in the downtown for recyclables that could be picked up at the same time the trash is picked up. The school pickups will be single-stream, meaning that paper, cardboard and containers will all go in the same recycle bin. I don't know if Chip has a plan to add recycling containers in the downtown, or if that's something that could be added. We can find out.
Michael 23:21, 5 July 2008 (EDT)