Rene Wood offers update on Sheffield recycling/reuse

To the editor:

Users of the Sheffield Transfer Station continue to transition items previously considered solid waste/garbage items to recycling and reuse. I want to thank all Transfer Station users for their continued efforts to reduce what goes in the trash compactor and increase what’s recycled or reused. Here’s a short review of your successes.

To date, 5.74 tons of textiles and accessories have been recycled at the four Apparel Impact green bins around town. Getting into this habit is just in time, as the State’s ban on textiles in trash begins October 1. Those who don’t use the transfer station can use the bins at the Senior Center and Town Hall.

The Swap Shop is a must-visit stop for both leaving as well as picking up items. Many of the items left, and taken, used to go in the trash compactor. I have found many wonderful items there.

Transfer station users are also ahead of the game as they have been recycling mattresses for over two years, way ahead of the State’s ban on mattresses in the trash, which also begins October 1. There will be no change in how mattresses are recycled or put in the bulky waste bin if soiled or not fit for recycling.

Expanded Transfer Station programs to accept a larger range of electronic items, as well as most types of batteries and mercury-based products including fluorescent lights, thermometers, and batteries, have seen increased use. Paper shredding events, hosted each year by Salisbury Bank, have been embraced as the Transfer Station can’t accept shredded paper. Cardboard, paper, and the usual recyclable items of glass, containers, cans, etc. are also up in tonnage, hopefully meaning more items are being recycled rather than put in the compactor.

The food diversion program — food waste composting through the Transfer Station — has steadily been increasing and I hope more people will take advantage of this program. Right now, a lot of food waste goes into the trash compactor, causing an increase in the cost of Transfer Station stickers. All food put into the diversion program’s 96-gallon containers goes to make compost and helps sustain two local small businesses.

The long-awaited bulky rigid plastic and box/media bins are on their way after a delay caused by supply chain issues.

Thank you to all who use the Sheffield Transfer Station, and to other Town residents, as you help the Town move from solid waste to recycling and reuse. You, along with our incredibly dedicated attendants Frank and James, also help Sheffield have one of the cleanest and most appealing Transfer Stations in the Commonwealth, as we have been told by many State Department of Environment Protection personnel.

Rene Wood
Town of Sheffield Recycling Coordinator

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