I thought this would be a good time to inform residents about recycling, as it is becoming a major budgetary constraint in the Village. The Village Board is currently working on our 2019/2020 budget and in doing so, we were contacted by our refuse contractor and informed that our recycling costs are going from a negative cost (us getting paid for our recycling) to a cost of about $75,000 per year.
The reason for this, in short, comes from China and where the recycling is ultimately sold. While we work to find the most cost-effective measure to continue recycling our waste, I would like to offer some clarification on recycling. A term that I just learned is “wish-cycling,” meaning you think an item is recyclable because you may feel badly about tossing it into the garbage.
Another issue we face is contaminated recycling – recycling that has not been thoroughly cleaned of whatever food product it once contained. You MUST clean your recycling prior to tossing it. The items that are recyclable include metal cans such as aluminum cans or steel cans (nothing is made completely of tin anymore!).
Aluminum foil is recyclable; however, you are urged to reuse this easy to clean product until it must be discarded. Paper products such as newspapers, magazines, envelopes and even those annoying political mailers that everyone hates getting – toss those right in the recycling so they can return to your household years later with another political message you are sure to cringe over.
Cardboard, office paper and even paper/cardboard dairy and juice cartons are recyclable; just make sure you rinse them out before putting them in the recycling bin. Plastic containers, bottles, jugs, and jars are recyclable, but make sure you remove the leftover Chinese food before discarding them. Glass bottles and containers are recyclable, but glass windows and mirrors are not.
Ceramics or Pyrex dishes are not recyclable, and neither are lightbulbs. The metal/plastic lids on glass containers must also be removed (prior to rinsing out) then discarded in the garbage – they are not recyclable.
In conclusion, I think we can all agree that we, as a society, use far too many individually wrapped or over-packaged products. If the goal of reducing the waste in our planet does not make you want to reduce your footprint, then consider it as a money saver. Either way, please consider reducing, reusing, and recycling!
The above column, written by Village of Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer, has been published in the March 20 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.