The Star-Herald

Recycling and litter

As the weather has warmed, a familiar problem has been revealed — litter.  Litter at some of our recycling igloo locations has become a significant issue, and one that we are asking for the public’s help with.  

Unfortunately, too many people are leaving items on the ground at these locations.  The igloos themselves are designed to contain the specific recyclable material; and at some locations  dumpsters for recycling of residential corrugated cardboard are co-located with the igloos.  

In either case, we are asking that folks please only place the designated materials inside the container.  No material should ever be left on the ground.  We are routinely finding glass (for which there is no igloo), styrofoam, bagged plastic containers, large boxes, bulky items and, in many cases, just plain trash left at these sites.  

Please be aware that the truck used to collect the material from the igloos has no capacity for collecting or transporting anything except for what is in the igloos.  Therefore, any material left on the ground is picked up and disposed of as trash by one of the local sanitation companies.  

Occasionally, we do get behind in emptying the igloos due to mechanical failures, the spring-cleaning season, or other reasons.  If this happens, it is normally corrected within a week, so we ask that people please hold on to their recyclable materials in the event that an igloo or dumpster is full.  We very much appreciate your patience.  

Litter is unsightly, a nuisance, and costly to remove.  Furthermore, minimum penalties for littering under state law or city ordinance range from $100 to $500 for the first offense, and up to $1,000 for each successive offense.  Security cameras have been installed for 24-hour surveillance at one of the igloo locations to hopefully dissuade folks from littering.  

Recycling is an environmentally preferable way of managing waste materials, but only if it is done in a responsible manner.  For those who are recycling their waste materials using the igloos, we appreciate the effort and thank you.  

Mark Draper is the solid waste director of Aroostook Waste Solutions, which owns and operates the Presque Isle Landfill and the Tri-Community Landfill, and operates a regional recycling program.  He can be reached at 473-7840, extension 4. 

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