Letter: Single Stream Recycling

By Ken Tripp

Our trash co-op has finally decided to abandon its single stream business venture. This means that Andover is no longer committed to participate in a single steam recycling (SSR) program. The Andover Board of Selectmen still feel that single stream is the wave of the future for Andover. We would most likely have to pay to dispose of our recyclables.

Currently, we receive considerable income from our separated recyclables. Single stream makes sense for towns that pick up trash. Single steam makes sense for towns with little or no infrastructure. Andover does not fit either category.

Some people argue that single stream will result in savings because more people will recycle, thus reducing trash disposal costs. Historical data indicates that in the absence of a mandatory recycling ordinance or a pay-as-you-throw program, SSR will increase the amount of recycling by six percent. This would result in less trash the Town would have to dispose of, but this would not offset the difference between receiving income for the Town’s recyclables versus paying to off-load them.

It is unfortunate the Selectmen feel the decision to shift to SSR is theirs and not the townspeople’s. A major change to the way Andover disposes of its trash and recyclables should be presented in detail to the residents and should include assessments of the economic impact.

We all are concerned about our tax burdens. Decisions that may adversely impact taxes should be shared.