Letter: Plastics should be recycled

Plastics should be recycled

Editor of the Reformer:

It was with great disappointment, bordering on disgust, that I read that Windham Solid Waste Management District would no longer accept plastics with the numbers 3 through 7 for recycling. According to a recent Reformer article, those plastics are worth less, and so not marketable.

Brattleboro went through extensive changes in its recycling and garbage collections in the past two years. We had lots of education about what to recycle, what to compost, and ways to reduce our trash loads. We have done well with this — as noted in the town's decision to pick up garbage every other week, while continuing to pick up recycling and compost every week and in the passing of a mandatory recycling ordinance.

We listened, we learned, and we are doing it — making less trash, while educating our children and grandchildren on better ways to care for our environment. Now, after budgets are passed and decisions are made, WSWMD decides to change the rules — just throw those plastics in the garbage — we don't want to do what is best for you, or the environment and we don't care if it costs you more. Disappointing. Embarrassing. And wrong.

WSWMD "... shall exist for the purpose of providing a comprehensive system for managing solid waste, recyclable materials, organic materials and exempt hazardous waste generated within member municipalities" (from Vermont Statutes online, Title 24 appendix Municipal Charters, Chapter 417). If any of us have a vote on this, I would vote to have WSWMD continue to collect all of the plastics. At the very least, WSWMD should collect them, bale them up and find a market, or hold them until there is a better market.

Perhaps it is time for Brattleboro to resign from the WSWMD. We can write our own solid waste plan and continue to recycle as much as possible. We pay a substantial amount of money each year to WSWMD. Is it worth it?

Billie Stark, West Brattleboro, April 26


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