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Putting the Word Out About Garbage

Mayor's Assistant on a Mission to Educate Residents About Recycling

If Mayor Rodolico’s assistant, Mark Bancroft, is becoming known as “the Garbage Czar,” it is because he has been going around the town spreading the word about single stream recycling, curbside collection schedules and other waste-related information.

For example, did you know that if you gather up your leaves in biodegradable (paper) bags and make an appointment for pick-up by calling 800 391-3592 or 860 887-8352, those leave will disappear, almost like magic?

Bancroft has been dropping off information packets that spell it all out – what are acceptable recycling items, what are the dumping fees, where and when hazardous materials may be discarded, even the holidays on which there is no garbage collection in town.

One thing you may not find in all this information (I couldn’t find it) is what Bancroft describes as “the $100 swing” for every ton of discarded recyclables. But first, let’s do a quick recylables review.

Here's what CANNOT be recycled: 

  • Plastic bags
  • Garden hoses
  • Light bulbs
  • Needles and syringes (and other hazardous materials)
  • Paper towels
  • Styro-foam/food waste in containers

As you can see, it’s a pretty short list.

Here’s what may be recycled:

  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Clean aluminum foil
  • Clean aluminum pans and containers
  • Paper egg cartons
  • Plastic bottles and tubs #1-7
  • Paper milk and juice cartons
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Newspapers (for those who still subscribe to newspapers)
  • Office (copier) paper and folders
  • Glass bottles – all colors
  • Shoe and cereal bottles
  • Metal pots and pans
  • Coat hangers
  • Aluminum and other metal cans
  • Phone books
  • Junk mail
  • Paperback books

It is possible that you may also be allowed to recycle hard-bound books, although they may be considered “Bulky Waste.” Especially if they were written by Jackie Collins. 

Just kidding!

Now, here’s the $100 swing. This is math, so focus:

The town pays $65 for every ton of material that goes into the Preston incinerator.

BUT, the town receives $35 or every ton of recycled material.

Therefore, every ton of waste that is kept out of the incinerator (save $65) and recycled (collect an additional $35) represents a savings of $100 to the town.

Bulky Waste

Household furniture, scrap wood (no sheet rock or plaster), White Goods (e.g., appliances), miscellaneous metals and leaves all are considered bulky waste. The good news is that Ledyard residents are allowed two pick-ups per calendar year.

Simply gather up your bulky waste, pile it on the curb, and make an appointment for pick-up by calling one of these numbers: 800 391-3592 or 860 887-8352.

Don’t forget to call. If you don’t call, your bulky waste will sit there indefinitely, and may end up pictured on one of several popular community Facebook pages in town. 

Here are some more useful tidbits:

Residents whose bulky waste needs exceed two pick-ups per year may bring waste directly to the town transfer station on J. Alfred Clark Way, off Col. Ledyard Highway (Rte. 117). There is normally a charge for this.

There is no charge for many items, however, including leaves and brush, car batteries, scrap metal and waste oil, to name a few. There is a small fee for tires and freon-bearing appliances.

The transfer station is open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sundays, unless there is another hurricane, in which case it might just stay open like it did during Irene.

Curbside collection deviates from the normal schedule six times a year for the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In each instance collection will move ahead by one day for that week.

The regular collection schedule will not be affected by any other holidays. Not MLK Day. Not Valentine’s Day. Not Good Friday. Not even Cinco de Mayo.

The Hazardous Waste Collection schedule will be published in the spring. Hazardous wastes include oil-based paints, stains and thinners, old gasoline, car battery acid, insecticides, fungicides, moth balls, rat poison and much, much more.

One last thing: If any part of this is still clear as mud to you, please call the Public Works Department at 464-9060, Ext. 3.

Or call Mark Bancroft, "the Garbage Czar," at 860 464-3222.

Donna Kenyon January 21, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Thank you, Naomi and Bill for your info. Sarah, I kept mine too and refer to it all the time. Can't say it wouldn't hurt for a reprint to be sent out.
Jen Woo January 23, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Sarah, you made the best point of all.
Jen Woo January 23, 2012 at 12:52 AM
The town needs to take care of the taxpayer's best interest. It is called communication!
N. Alex Bancroft January 24, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Another great way to reduce our waste is to consider composting all non-animal product and by-product food waste. In our kitchen we use an old large kitty litter bucket with lid to toss fruit and vegetable scraps in and a few times a week dump it into our large compost container outside. Makes wonderful compost for our gardens and reduces our trash.
Nancy January 26, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I presume in the recycle list that "shoe and cereal bottles" means boxes? That gave me a chuckle this morning. Also, is this " information packet" available online through the town's website? If not, why not have it there also?

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