WEST BOYLSTON – In an effort to go more green, West Boylston is going pink.
Residents will soon get pink bags that they can put out on trash days. The contents of the bags will be kept out of the landfills.
In June, Steve Lisauskas vice president of government affairs for Waste Zero, won selectmen’s approval to bring curbside textiles recycling to town.
Residents can find out more at an information session on Sept. 26, at 3 p.m., in the Beaman Memorial Library.
Lisauskas told selectmen that 8.1 percent of trash is reusable, recyclable material, with 95 percent that can be reused. But only 15 percent of people recycle these materials through drop boxes. Waste Zero now has one million customers in Massachusetts, including in towns like Grafton. Customers get bright pink bags, which can be filled with either used clothes or other items that can be sold at thrift stores. The bags are set out on the same day as recycling. When a bag is picked up, an empty one is left for the homeowner to fill again.
He said there is no cost to the town or the resident, and the town is paid $20 a ton for the material Lisauskas said it costs roughly $60 a ton for incineration.
So far, the only complaint has been residents missing the pick-ups, since the Waste Zero trucks do the routes faster than town recycling trucks. But if a resident calls customer service, the bag can be picked up the next business day, or the following week.
Julianne de Rivera, chairman of West Boylston’s SWAT (solid waste advisory team), said the group set up the Sept. 26 meeting so residents can learn, first-hand, what can and cannot be recycled through the bags.
“West Boylston residents can make a difference by diverting textiles from their trash to save money and the planet,” she said.
According to Waste Zero, clean, “pre-loved” clothing and accessories, including those in need of repair, stained, ripped, single sockets., etc., and small household goods that fit into the bags are all recyclables.
• All clothing;
• Shoes, belts, scarfs, purses, hats, gloves, backpacks, bibs, coats, boots, sneakers, ties, etc.;
• Household textiles: Curtains/drapes, bedspreads, sheets, pillows, sleeping bags, towels, etc.;
• Kitchenware: Glasses, dishes, silverware, pans, etc.;
• Small electronics: Radios, hair dryers, curling irons, etc.;
• Small decorative items: Knick knacks, pictures, etc.; and
• Miscellaneous: Jewelry, toys, tools, books and other small home goods that can fit in the bag.
Regular curbside recycling continues for metal food and beverage cans, plastic bottles, jars, jugs and tubs, glass bottles and jars and paper and cardboard.
Residents have options for recycling.
According to SWAT:
• Electronics or small appliances can go in the pink bags, or be accepted at the Wachusett Recycle Center or places like Best Buy.
• Styrofoam: Shaped blocks used to cushion items like TVs are accepted at the Wachusett Recycle Center. Food syrofoam is not currently being recycled in New England and should go into the trash;
• Metals: Bring to the Wachusett Recycle Center of a local metal recycler;
• Bulky plastic items: like storage bins, toys, etc., are accepted at the Wachusett Recycle Center;
• Tires: Accepted at the Wachusett Recycle Center and may be recycled at local tire stores; and
• Plastic bags and film: if thin enough to poke a hole in easily can be returned to supermarkets, Target and Walmart (including shopping bags and clean vegetable bags).