Source Separated Recycling Program to Begin Soon

By Victoria Mishcon

The market for Single Stream Recycling (all recyclables in one container) has collapsed and the cost for Andover to ship out its single stream recyclables has tripled in the last nine months.  The Selectboard has made the decision to return to Source Separated Recycling, which will allow us to make money on separated commodities such as cardboard and aluminum cans.

We turned to Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) for help and they sent a team of seasoned transfer station managers and NRRA staff to review our operations and provide guidance and recommendations for switching to a Source Separated program. They looked at our storage capacity, traffic flow, building size, usable property area and the program as a whole including construction/demolition, tire and light metal collection.

They recommend that we separate aluminum cans, corrugated cardboard and plastics #1-#7(all plastics in one container), which will be separately baled and stored. Mixed paper (magazines, office paper, cereal boxes, newspaper, etc.) will be collected in the brown compactor presently used for single stream recyclables. Glass will continue to be collected in the container currently used. Steel and tin cans will be collected at the Recycle Building and staff will transfer it to the light metal container. We will have volunteers and staff on hand to help residents as the new program begins.

For everything else, we will continue with our current operations.

Two new or used balers and 3 used shipping containers (for storage) will be purchased using funds from the Transfer Station Capital Reserve Fund. We are also applying for a grant from New Hampshire the Beautiful to help cover the cost of the new equipment.

Watch for information at the Transfer Station to find out when the new program will start. Our hope is that it will be no later than mid-September.