Celebrate ‘America Recycles Day’

on Nov. 15

To the Editor:

America Recycles Day, celebrated on Nov. 15, is a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States.

The day raises awareness about reducing waste, recycling and purchasing products made of recycled materials. Another major objective is to reduce contamination in the recycling stream.

The recycling markets have faced challenges the past few years with China closing its doors to most recycled material, but it is important to bear in mind that markets for good, clean recyclable material still exist. With more than 3,200 tons of recyclables diverted from the waste stream in fiscal year 2019, the issue is not getting Darien residents to recycle, but to do all that they can to minimize contamination in single stream.

This year a revised Single Stream Recycling Guide with important changes accompanied every new Recycling Center (“dump”) sticker. Most notable was the removal of three materials from single stream recycling: Plastic bags and plastic film (such as dry cleaning, bread or ziplock bags), Styrofoam, and shredded paper. These materials either jam up machinery at the sorting facility, create contamination in other recyclables, or both.

Clean and dry plastic film can be returned to participating retailers for recycling but at present both Styrofoam and shredded paper should be disposed of with household trash.

If your Single Stream Recycling Guide has been lost or misplaced, find it on the town website at www.darienct.gov under the Department of Public Works.

The recycling industry is volatile and changes occur frequently and unexpectedly. For regular updates, follow “Darien Recycling Center” on FaceBook and Twitter. Questions? Email recycle@darienct.gov.

On this national day of recycling, please do your part by recycling right — not only on America Recycles Day, but throughout the year!

Craig Flaherty, Chairman

Darien Advisory Committee on Sustainability