Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

June 12, 2014

Town needs more proactive approach to waste

Editor, Townsman:

Bill Kirk’s article (Townsman, May 29) about the success of the May 3 Zero Waste Day deserves a little more reflection. Most of us are to be commended for participating where we could.

The collection of 200,000 pounds of materials diverted from the waste stream is not an insignificant number. The long wait and need for some tweaking in years to come are a small price to pay for the overall good accomplished. The $17,500 positive cash flow to the town is notable. The information packets handed out to participants are an excellent way to transfer knowledge and options to the willing.

But — it’s not enough. Only 816 vehicles showed up. In a town with in excess of 7,000 households, where was everyone else?

Andover mandates recycling, but either hasn’t the means or is unable to enforce that regulation. If every Andover household eliminated only 1 pound from our weekly trash collection, we would collectively divert over 350,000 pounds annually from the waste stream and potentially achieve even greater savings. While this may not be foremost on everyone’s list of priorities, I can’t think of an easier way to save money and reduce the size of our trash footprint.

Perhaps it’s time to reconsider how we, as a community, might take a more proactive approach to managing not only items that can be repurposed, but to a more inventive, more inclusive way of dealing with our trash and recycling.

Richard Davis

Victoria Vasquez

11 Woodhaven Drive

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