Published DateTo the editor,
I see household trash as a revenue stream, a source of income to the Town of Gilmanton. Our selectmen have demanded frugality from our department heads, as has the Budget Committee. Yet the town stands by and watches our fellow citizens turn this revenue stream into a whirlpool that sucks not only our tax dollars down the drain but also the savings from recyclers. Waste disposal is becoming more expensive. The practical solution is to divert and possibly process various components of our trash. On March 12, Gilmanton will have an opportunity to vote on warrant article #38 which states: To see if the town will vote to authorize the selectmen to require separation of all recyclables deposited at the Gilmanton Transfer Station and to set such rules and regulations in place as soon as possible in order to maximize the cost benefits.
Let's look at what's being proposed. The article reads "required." What's the difference between required and mandatory? Mandatory is like if you attended Catholic School, a noogie or a wrap on the knuckles with a ruler, that's mandatory. Required, on the other hand, is letting students know why they shouldn't behave in a destructive way and giving options and encouragement to improve their behavior.
Required separation of recyclables is just an extension of what we already do. You can't put construction debris, brush, or hazardous waste in the dumpster. With today's voluntary process, we separate under 20 percent of our household waste. Again, the household waste stream is a revenue source which should enable us to manage costs in an orderly and economical way.
Further in the article, we read "set rules and regulations." What could those be? Maybe that education, encouragement and assistance to separate recyclables will be provided by the town. Or maybe that all possible efforts will be made to make separation of recyclables as convenient and easy as possible.
Why do we want to start this program as soon as possible? One, it could be done with little or no start-up costs. Two, savings start immediately both by reducing tipping fees and selling recyclables. Three, the benefits are not a one-time deal. They continue year after year.
Help put Gilmanton on the right track by supporting separation of recyclables, and remember "Our town gets cash when you separate your trash."