(Chelsea Update would like to thank Frank Hammer for the information in this column.)
The Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority (WWRA) has had a couple articles in the last weeks addressing the issue of trash in our recycling bins.
It appears, for reasons that are not readily defined, that there are still people who think WWRA now accepts anything, and it’s up to us to separate the trash from the recycling.
Nothing could be farther from reality.
Residents within the WWRA boundaries used to have to sort out metal cans from cardboard, from newspapers and magazines. Each type of recycling had its own bin space and was handled separately at our facility.
WWRA made the decision to spend $3.5 million to make recycling easier for residents with a single-stream system so everyone could use a single recycling container at your home for metal cans, cardboard, newspapers, magazines, etc.
However, that “etc.” has absolutely no provision for the inclusion of household trash in these bins.
For the 20 years that WWRA has been providing recycling, with sources separated by product type, we have never experienced the level of trash in our bins that we’ve seen in the last two years.
And, this trash problem has grown at an alarming rate for the last 6 months. The cost of trash disposal has also grown at an alarming rate and those costs come back to the residents of the WWRA district.
Please review the following list of what we are now seeing in the bins and explain to me why anyone would think these materials are considered recyclable.
suitcases shoes boots clothing
ice/roller skates Porcelain toilets and sinks blankets towels rags wooden entertainment systems roofing shingles plywood
light bulbs bowling balls hockey sticks plastic tarps
swimming pools and covers vehicle oil filters furnace filters
household glass auto glass windows animal carcasses
spoiled meat and household scraps bags of used infant and adult diapers
syringes and sharp needles contaminated kitty litter bags of dog feces
How would you like to be the recycling sorter and come across used diapers or rotten meat when working the sorting line?
The real question is whether your feeling is “I don’t work there and do not care?”
I truly hope this is not what you’re thinking, and that those people with little moral fiber represent a small minority of WWRA area residents.
Your assistance in bringing this issue to a halt or at the very least minimizing it, would be greatly appreciated by everyone at the WWRA facility.