- By recycling the 680 pounds of paper that each of us uses annually, we can personally save 6 trees, 130 gallons of oil, and enough electricity to power a house for a month.
- Half of the 120 billion aluminum cans sold each year are tossed out, yet a recycled can saves 95% of the energy cost of making a new one. Worse still, those we discard will still be in the landfill in 500 years.
- It costs $50 a ton to send trash to the landfill, but just $30 a ton to recycle. And everything we recycle saves precious earth resources, conserves energy, and cuts carbon emissions.
- At 4.4 pounds of solid waste per person per day, the 5% of the world’s population living in the United States generates 40% of world's waste.
07 June 2012
Recycle This Newspaper: We’d Like to Help
Before we update you on some new developments in town, here’s a quick quiz to jump-start your brain. Test yourself on how many of the following recycling facts you knew, and then ask yourself which one might persuade you to increase your personal recycling practices:
These are the kind of data that led Sustainable Woodstock to commit to a major town-wide recycling effort in the year ahead. The group's newly appointed recycling coordinating team, quickly dubbed "The Trash Force," has already had several meetings to plan the initiatives it will roll out over coming months.
Nick Mahood, a member of the team, emphasized the importance of its agenda. "Recycling in the village is a huge priority," he said. "So I'm particularly excited that Jed Dickinson of Woodstock Recycling has joined us. He brings a great deal of knowledge and practical experience to our discussions."
Working with Dickinson also underscores Sustainable Woodstock’s commitment to supporting local businesses. Woodstock Recycling has been operating in town for more than 20 years, and has recently begun offering single stream recycling to its residential and commercial customers. It’s an innovation that Dickinson believes will greatly increase the appeal recycling in town.
After completing its analysis, the recycling group plans to approach the trustees with a proposal to increase public recycling in the village. As a town whose heritage reaches back to George Marsh’s pioneering work in conservation, Woodstock has an opportunity to build on a long, proud tradition of environmental consciousness and become recognized as the greenest town in Vermont.
In the meantime, Sustainable Woodstock continues to promote recycling at public events including last Sunday's Covered Bridges Half Marathon event. Ana DiNatale, a Sustainable Woodstock summer intern who is obtaining her degree in renewable energy and ecological design at Green Mountain College, helped organize the event. "We collected 25 bags of recycled materials, 15 bags of compost, and 10 bags of trash," she said. "And we were very pleased that almost everybody seemed aware of the appropriate bins to use."
Over the four years Sustainable Woodstock has worked with the CBHM, there has indeed been a noticeable growth in the awareness of and support for recycling. Clearly, the next challenge is to expand that awareness and support townwide.
So back to that quiz... which personal recycling practice did you say you'd like to improve?
by Christopher Bartlett