Not so long ago, China was developing its recycling industry, and due to incredibly cheap labor and many other factors, sought and paid for much of the United State’s recycling material. The returning empty shipping containers that brought Chinese goods to our shores was a cheap way to get our recycling to them, and they were happy to have our material. However, their industry has developed – and it is thought that our recycling material has gotten less “pure” through single stream and general lack of attention from our citizenry. Thus, China has started refusing many of our material streams and has set “drastic” (but overdue!) limits on the amount of acceptable contamination in our loads.
This, and other factors, have brought trash disposal and responsible recycling to the forefront of many local governments, and Newburyport is no exception.
During the city’s recent requests for proposals for new hauling, collection, and disposal contracts, Newburyport saw a drastic increase in pricing. Partly in response to the factors above and in response to increasing fines for contaminated loads, Newburyport applied for and received a second grant from Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to roll out an awareness and education program called Recycle Improve Quality – or Recycle IQ for short. This grant enables Newburyport to refresh our CityOfNewburyport.com/recycleright website, send out postcards with information, send out additional education personnel, and create a program to enable home visits to help households and families learn to recycle right – to be better stewards of the environment and Newburyport’s tax dollars.
What can you do to help?
· Recycle everything you can – and nothing that you shouldn’t. If you are unclear on what is what, visit the website or email us at the email address below with questions. Better yet, invite a Toward Zero Waste Newburyport representative for a home visit to help you and your whole family understand what goes where! Email us at the email below to schedule a home visit – and invite your neighbors! Responsible waste management saves everyone money!
· Watch your postbox for (another) valuable postcard that helps determine what goes in recycling carts – and what doesn’t
· Make sure your recycling is “clean” – rinse food containers!
· Talk to your neighbors! Recycling right is good for Newburyport’s environment and budget!
· Use a permanent marker to put your street number and street name on your recycling cart. This helps our cart checkers with their rounds to note households who might need more education.
If you and your neighbors can help Newburyport recycle right, you help us keep costs down and keep Newburyport beautiful! We are here to help!
CityOfNewburyport.com/recycleright or email TowardZeroWasteNewburyport@outlook.com