May 2024 Meeting

Insights on Household Waste Management and Recycling

May 8, 2024

Does recycling work? Does it matter?

Over the years, a heated debate has ensued regarding the economics of recycling, coinciding with a surge in the number of single-use containers.

Don’t assume that simply placing an item in the blue Pellitteri bin guarantees recyclability. Some mistakes can create a ripple effect with significant consequences. It starts with you. Emphasize quality over quantity when recycling.

Nationally, people contaminate and render unusable 25% of recyclables. Let’s assess Fitchburg’s performance and its potential recycling report card. We’ll start with the following questions.

  • Do plastic bags gum up recycling machinery?
  • Does food residue make recyclables unfit for processing?
  • Should you bag recyclables?
  • Can you recycle all paper? Even if it’s wet?
  • What about books, coffee cups, and other paper products?
  • How can you decode the recycling symbols on containers?
  • What types of plastic and paper are non-recyclable?
  • What actually gets recycled? What percentage of items have to be rejected?
  • Do you really know the proper ways to recycle?
  • How can you manage household waste in a more sustainable way?
  • How can I properly dispose of potentially hazardous materials?

Ben Schulte, Environmental Engineer for the City of Fitchburg, and Todd Bollenbach, Pellitteri’s Municipal Account Executive, will share insights on these issues for Fitchburg residents. It’s a talk you don’t want to miss.