“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recycling Ends Today in Ligonier - How Can This Be?

Well that's it! I'm going to use my wine bottles as fence post decorations, and the green beer bottles as Christmas decorations until the bins come back! After thirty years of recycling, I'm not sure how else to deal with this change.
The barricades being set up to close the recycling lot.
The cost of recycling has become a topic in the past year. The cost has been measured in dollars and profit - or lack of it - to the companies doing the recycling. Now that it seems to have become unprofitable, Ligonier, as well as many other communities, is left with nowhere to take its plastics, glass, metal, and even paper. As this time, it looks like a couple of farmers are taking care of some of the newspaper in their shredders, and that's it.
I wonder how the cost of larger landfills will affect us in this turn in economics? Probably it will be noticed and calculated when its too late.
I just picked up a small load of paper from the high school office today on my weekly run. It only produces one or two bags of shredded paper a week, which disappears in the stalls in a day or two, but it helps the school and it helps me. It doesn't save anyone money, but it saves a space in the landfill.
One of the seniors at the high school discovered how much paper was being thrown out, and looked for a way to recycle it. The school had the same problem as the town, in that their company stopped picking up their paper, so they were stuck. Through the Ligonier Living blog conversations, she got directed to me and the goats.
We've been doing office paper for about two months now, and I think we can make it work better, so that there is more collected to make it more worth my trip. Then I would love it if they could do some of the shredding, even if its just a bag a week. Its the time element when there gets to be a lot of paper, but a lot is what is needed. I'll have to see if we can coordinate better. Unfortunately, I can't do newspaper in my shredder, or I'd have a lot more contributions. I've been told you can use chipper/shredders for newspaper, but as of yet, I haven't made the purchase. The cost for me, greatly outweighs the need.
Goodbye to the bins...
The Loyalhanna Watershed Association, who has coordinated the town's recycling all these years and tried to keep it going, has managed to find a paper recycler, but I'm not sure of those details.
Drew Banas, Director of the LWA, at the end of clean-up. The stress is over Drew?
Meanwhile, we all can suggest ways to do our own little part. I have been using newspaper as mulch in the garden, and I know animal shelters and even the veterinarians sometimes use paper for their facilities. More simple ideas?


Diane Cipa said...

It would be interesting to weigh the energy expended in driving paper around and shredding it versus putting it in a land full versus burning it at a public dump or at home. I grew up in a neighborhood in which many family had burn barrels in the back yard. We didn't because my mother was a "city" girl. ;) Our trash went to the municipal incinerator.

Deere Driver said...

I agree about the energy cost. I usually do my "run" on the day I plan to be in Ligonier. The electricity to shred is a cost, but I need some sort of bedding for the critters, and straw, wood chips or paper all have a production cost. Plus we are doing "white paper", which has less uses to most people.

When my goats are done with the paper, it breaks down all the faster on the compost pile and is helping the garden or fields within a short time.

At my small scale the study wouldn't be worth the cost!

As far as burning, paper is one thing, but then the temptation is to chuck the plastics and foams. I smell it every week and it gets bad some times. The gasses sit on the hills here and it hurts the throat and eyes.

When I was a kid growing up in Lancaster, PA, milk, soda pop, beer, and OJ came in returnable, reusable glass. But then it became cheaper to throw things out.

Then we had the "Litter Bug" problem.

Things have changed. Its been a cycle in our lifetime. Some better. Some worse.