Friday, September 30, 2011

Cape Cod Chronicle Column September 29, 2011

It's Not Too Soon to Plan a Green Halloween!
Halloween is spooky by nature, but it doesn't have to be a scary time for the environment too.
A few simple tips...
1) Cloth shopping bags, or even pillowcases, make terrific alternatives to paper or plastic bags to collect treats.
Americans use more than 380 million plastic bags and 10 million paper bags every year. Plastic ends up as litter, kills thousands of marine mammals annually, and breaks down slowly into small particles that continue to pollute soil and water. During production, plastic bags require millions of gallons of fossil fuels; and paper bag production consumes more than 14 million trees annually in the U.S.
2) Instead of buying a costume that might be worn once, make your own costumes from old clothes and other items around the house. Or find inexpensive costume materials from thrift stores and yard sales. Your children might even enjoy trading Halloween costumes with friends to have something “new” and different to wear.

3) Give your visiting ghouls treats that treat the environment gently. There is a growing variety of eco-friendly candy. Choose treats with little or no non-recyclable packaging. Buy locally if possible to support the local economy and reduce fuel consumption and pollution associated with transportation. Or avoid candy altogether and give small gifts like colored pencils, crayons, small toys, stickers or other inexpensive items.

4) Instead of throwing organic Halloween decorations -- pumpkins, corn stalks, gourds, hale bays, etc. -- into the trash, remove non-organic trim and deposit in the compost area at the Transfer Station.

5) Living an eco-friendly lifestyle and reducing waste and pollution should be a daily event, not a special occasion. With a little thought, you can apply the strategies you use to have a green Halloween to the way you live every day!

Oh, and one last thing - what's a ghost's favorite fruit?
Happy Safe Green Halloween!
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Cape Cod Chronicle Column September 15, 2011

Introducing "Cape Crusader" and Recycling Partner - Milley Trucking!
And we thought WE had been recycling for a long time. When Tim Milley's
great uncle started in the hauling business, the company immediately
began recycling - in 1928! Ashes for the garden, kitchen scraps for the
livestock, and eventually scrap metals in 1945 when Tim's father took over.
Recycling continued when Tim purchased the company in 1978 and expanded
in 1990 to include glass, tin cans, newspaper, cardboard, paper,
and plastic for his commercial customers.

The company also serves Chatham Public Schools and the three schools'
recycling programs.

In 2010 Milley began providing dual-stream recycling to his residential customers
via a separate truck operating on different days from the trash pick-ups.
Stream #1 is plastic, glass and metal; stream #2 is mixed fibers: paper and junk mail.

"Recycling is a very costly and labor intensive endeavor and I have been trying for more
than 20 years to make it feasible," says Milley. "Since 1990 we have recycled approximately
3,500 tons of material that never went to the Chatham Transfer Station."

To his current customers, Tim Milley says please make recyclables as clean as possible.
Dirty and/or food-laden items can contaminate a load and risk refusal by the purchaser.

We know it takes time, energy, money and extra manpower, and we salute Milley Trucking
for their commitment to recycling! In the end, it keeps many items from the waste stream;
saves natural resources used to manufacture brand new items; and eventually reduces
costly dumping fees for Milley Trucking and for the Town of Chatham.

Milley Trucking, another Cape Crusader!

Milley Trucking (508) 945-0725
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Cape Cod Chronicle Column September 1, 2011


A new school year means new stuff! Supplies, calculators, clothes, backpacks, etc. Consider these tips as you prepare:

School Supplies
• Many supplies are reusable. Reuse notebooks with paper left ; folders that are not too battered; and backpacks, binders and calculators.
• Several organizations accept donated supplies for schools around the world. If there are items you can't reuse yourself, consider donating.
• When buying new supplies, look for products - pencils, notebooks, folder and other paper products - that contain recycled content.
• As much as possible, purchase supplies in bulk and with minimal packaging. This keeps materials out of the waste stream.

Lunches and Snacks
• Instead of plastic or paper bags, use reusable cloth or plastic containers. Buy a reusable plastic or metal container for drinks, rather than single-use water bottles or juice boxes. This saves you money and reduces waste.

Clothing, Electronics and Other Supplies
•Last year's clothes, shoes, sporting goods and backpacks may no longer fit. If they're in good, usable condition, consider donating them to charitable organizations, keeping them out of the trash loop and helping those in need.
• If replacing computers, printers, calculators or other electronics, consider donating or recycling them. Many organizations will accept donations of working electronics, and the Chatham Transfer Station accepts e-waste for recycling, some for a small fee.
•Look into solar chargers for cell phones, etc.

•Back-to-school season is a great time to talk to kids and teachers about the importance of waste reduction and recycling. Talk to your child and teachers about how to reduce the amount of waste they create, reuse what they can and recycle the rest..and why this is important.

Happy 2011-2012 School Year!
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Cape Cod Chronicle Column August 18, 2011

We've Got Some Good News…and Some Good News!

First, the good news:

You no longer have to stand at the Chatham Recycling Center looking back and forth from the bottle in your hand to one bin, then another, wondering all the while: "Is this a #1, #2, or a #3 through #7?? Oh great, I left my glasses in the car!"

Second, the reason for the first good news:

Plastics #1 through #7 no longer have to be separated!!

Many surveys show that 9 out of 10 people say they would recycle more if it was easier. Well, toss one more excuse in the dumpster because, as long as your plastic item has the universal recycling logo and a #l through #7, you are welcome to toss it in the bins marked "Plastics #1 - #7" at the Chatham Transfer Station's Recycling Center.

Just two minor requests please: rinse items to avoid bees and other critters;
and put caps in designated chutes.

More time for the beach now? You're welcome!

Cape Cod Chronicle Column August 4, 2011



    In some industries, recycling of widely used materials can sharply reduce the energy requirements for reprocessing. For example, increased use of paper recycling could also save enormous amounts of energy and help avoid increased deforestation in the world.
   Recycling offers even larger gains in the aluminum industry. The production of aluminum from bauxite ore is one of the most energy-intensive processes in the global economy. However, 95 percent of the energy can be eliminated by processing recycled aluminum instead of producing fresh quantities from bauxite. Yet vast quantities of aluminum are discarded annually.
   In the United States alone, more than 50 billion aluminum cans are thrown away each year - more than half of the 100 billion sold each year. The Container Recycling Institute reported that between 1990 and 2000, citizens of the United States wasted enough aluminum cans to "reproduce the world's entire commercial air fleet 25 times." Large quantities of aluminum are also discarded - instead of being recycled - in the form of appliances and other durable goods.
   When you add the 29 billion glass bottles and 7 billion higher density plastic bottles and jugs that are also thrown away each year instead of being recycled, it means that there are 9 aluminum, plastic, or glass containers thrown away every week on average by every man, woman and child in the United Stats. If they were routinely recycled instead, the energy saved in making new containers would equal the energy equivalent of 53.5 million barrels of imported crude oil - which would be the equivalent of eliminating all the gasoline used by two million cars."

-excerpts from Al Gore's "Our Choice," now an interactive e-book
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Cape Cod Chronicle Column July 21, 2011

Household Hazardous Waste Collection
August 13, September 10, October 8, 9am - Noon
Harwich Transfer Station, 209 Queen Anne Rd.
Questions?  508-375-6699

Cape Cod Chronicle Column June 23, 2011


"Can I recycle this?…Where does that go?…Can anyone reuse these?…"

When it comes to recycling, there's no such thing as a silly question. Send yours to: Here are a few we hear often:

Q: Where do plastics #1 not in bottle or jar form go, like takeout food trays?
A: Plastics #3 thru 7 bin (don't ask). But no styrofoam please!

Q: Brown paper bags?
A: Corrugated Cardboard.

Q: Corrugated cardboard covered with colored paper okay?
A: Yes.

Q: Pizza boxes?
A: Corrugated Cardboard, as long as there's little or no oil, cheese or sauce inside. (no wax paper liner please)

Q: Used aluminum foil?
A: Aluminum and Tin Cans bin (relatively clean )

Q: Cat litter?
A: Trash, but consider the more eco-friendly Feline Pine or Trader Joe's Pine Cat Litter (some claim it can be mulch after solids removed)

Q: Motor oil container?
A: Trash (due to inevitable remaining oil)

Q: Metal bottle caps?
A: Aluminum and Tin Cans bin

Q: Wire hangers?
A: Metal Objects bin - or Princess Cleaners (good condition only) Rte. 28 and George Ryder Rd.

Q: Plastic bags?
A: Area supermarkets (clean, dry)

Q: Plastic flower pots?
A: Plastics #3 thru 7 (relatively clean)

Q: Styrofoam peanuts & bubble wrap?
A: UPS Store East Harwich, Barn Hill Pottery, Chatham Pottery (clean only)

Finally, a few comments from your Chatham Recycling Center workers:
*PLEASE READ the signs. If you're still not sure, PLEASE ASK.
*Metal Objects bin: small objects only, no electrical items. (Most go to other area at no charge. Please ask at entrance.)
*Please understand that the magazine table had to be removed due to budget cuts and man hours required to tend to it. Please continue to recycle your magazines.

Got a question?

Thanks for your continued cooperation!
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Cape Cod Chronicle Column July 7, 2011


So glad you asked!   For your consideration…

* Recycling conserves natural resources such as water, minerals and wood which are necessary to make brand new products.
* Recycling saves energy because less is used to manufacture new products.
* Recycling produces fewer greenhouse gases thereby addressing global warming, because industries burn fewer fossil fuels in manufacturing and transportation.
* Recycling kept 82 million tons of waste from landfills and incinerators in 2009.
* Recycling does not always earn a profit, but it always costs less than waste disposal.
* Towns and individuals can earn money from some recyclables.
* Recycling programs create 4 jobs for every 1 job in the waste disposal industry.
* By conserving natural resources, recycling prevents the destruction of many natural habitats.
* Recycling decreases soil erosion associated with the mining and logging of natural resources.

Next question?

Seriously, feel free to send any questions to:

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Cape Cod Chronicle Column June 9, 2011


Plastics #3 through #7, that is. 

As you probably know by now, the Chatham Transfer Station is once again accepting plastic containers #3 through #7 for recycling (marked inside the universal triangle recycling logo).

Hooray! This is wonderful news for all of us, since many items - yogurt, cream cheese, takeout food, prescriptions, just to name a few - come in this type of plastic container.

And of course, plastics #1 and #2 continue to be accepted.

That's the good news. 

And now for the less than wonderful news: While we are just as excited as you to again finally be able to send these items to be recycled, rather than into the trash, we're running
into a bit of a "contamination" problem. Simply put, this means that too many NON plastic #3-7 items are ending up in this collection. 

Please remember to look for #3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 inside the universal triangle recycling logo somewhere on the container. And don't even bother looking on any styrofoam container.
Styrofoam is not allowed at all. Also not allowed: motor oil containers. 

We're all very happy and grateful to the Transfer Station crew to be able to recycle our plastics #3 - 7 again. Let's be sure to do it right so we can have it available for a long time!

Thanks for you cooperation!
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Cape Cod Chronicle Column May 26, 2011


Whether you're on vacation, heading to your own neighborhood beach, planning a backyard bar-b-que or going camping, don't forget to pack your manners...for Mother Nature! A few helpful hints for eco-friendly outdoor festivities:

*Set out a labeled bag/bin to collect recyclables at your picnic, party, or campsite, and encourage friends/guests to use it.

*Bring food and beverages in recyclable or reusable packaging. (More beverages in aluminum cans and plastic bottles are consumed between now and Labor Day than any other time of year.)

*Use a backback or beach bag to carry out your recyclables.

*If possible, bring plates, glasses, napkins, dinnerware and tablecloths that can be washed and reused. (These days even many plastic plates, cups and utensils can go in your dishwasher.)

*If you simply can't give up your paper plates, napkins & cups, at least buy those that have more than 50% post-consumer content.

* In Chatham, look for recycling bins alongside the Big Belly solar-powered trash containers around town.

*And have a wonderful, safe, GREEN summer!

Thanks again to all who made ChathamRecycles' 4th Annual RecycleFest a big success!

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Cape Cod Chronicle Column May 12, 2011

Cape Cod Chronicle Column April 28, 2011

Cape Cod Chronicle Column April 14, 2011

Saturday, April 22 is Earth Day. The theme this 41st year is A Billion Acts of Green:
personal, organizational and corporate pledges to better our environment.
The goal is to register one billion acts -- anything from using your car a little less to converting your business to solar --
before the Earth Summit in Rio in 2012. It's easy to pledge -- 80 million so far!  Please visit:

ChathamRecycles. org
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Cape Cod Chronicle Column March 31, 2011


News Flash!

Plastics 3 through 7 are coming back!

Yep, in just a few days, the Chatham Transfer Station will be accepting plastic containers #'s 3 through 7 (items MUST have recycling symbol and number - no styrofoam or unmarked items please). Plastics #1 and #2 continue to be accepted.

Watch for signs at the Recycling Center, and thanks so much for your patience!
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Cape Cod Chronicle Column March 17, 2011


Check out the following behaviors from "Environmental Leader" and see where you land on the "Green Gauge." Do you:

*Buy environmentally friendly products?
*Buy products which use less packaging?
*Limit energy use at home?
*Buy energy-efficient appliances/insulation?
*Refuse to buy products from companies with poor environmental
*Buy recycled products?
*Recycle at home?

None of the above = totally green-less! (16% of population)
1 to 4 of the above = light green (50% of population)
5 or 6 = medium green (27%)
All 7 = deep lush green (7%)

Want to get even greener? Try reusable shopping bags; buy local; support Farmers Markets; carry reusable water bottle & coffee mug; use a rain barrel for watering lawn & garden; use CFL light bulbs throughout the house.

Toast yourself this St. Patrick's Day for all you do. Then think about what we can all do to make ourselves even greener!

It's not always easy being green, but it's always worth it!
Thanks so much to all who helped make our 2nd Annual Book & Media Swap a huge success!

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Cape Cod Chronicle Column Feb. 17 & March 3, 2011