Around the Island

Richard’s Almanac: A trip to the Recycling Center

I’ve always been a dutiful and scrupulous recycler here on the Island. And most of the people I know regard recycling as a good thing and something that we all can do.

Readers might remember that in a column a few weeks ago I wrote about the new rules on plastic recycling. Only plastics with numbers 1 and 2 would be acceptable. Fine. Just more stuff to go into the garbage bags. And more to cut up so it doesn’t take up so much space with the rest of the garbage.

I have a closet off my kitchen with four bins: one for metal, one for glass, one for plastic and one for newspaper and non-corrugated cardboard. And I take these containers to the dump when they fill up.

The newspaper container fills up first, with two daily papers delivered. The metal takes a while because I just don’t use that much canned food. The glass is the heaviest and doesn’t get full quickly because many of the bottles break as they go in. It’s also the heaviest to haul into the back of the car.

I received a shock last week when I went to the dump with the plastic recyclables. I could not just put the 1’s and 2’s from my container into a receptacle there. There are now separate containers for 1’s and 2’s.

It was a sunny and fairly hot Sunday afternoon and the area was loaded with yellow jackets. I had to deftly dance around these buzzing bees to place the right plastic in the required container. I am allergic to bees and have an epi-pen in my car. Fortunately I didn’t have to use it.

However, I will now have an additional container in my closet to accommodate the separation of the two plastics.

After all of this frustration, I began to wonder whether or not it was worth it to use the town facility. Should I investigate a private carting firm? Is all this recycling just too much stress for older folk like me?

I’ve mentioned before that the dump was always one of the aspects we found charming about the Island a half century ago. The dump was always the last stop after closing up the house. The dump trucks sat parked on Bowditch Road poised to be filled and then bring the trash to the open pit dump.

We are much more enlightened now and careful recycling and garbage dumping is vital to the health of the Island’s future.

That said, I did investigate a private carter and was given a very reasonable monthly fee for garbage and recyclables. And the recyclables just go in one container! So how does that work? I was told that they get separated at a recycling facility. It must be a pretty sophisticated process.

For the time being, I’ll continue to do my own recycling and pay attention to the plastics that must go with the garbage and shred them beforehand. I don’t want to fill up the bags so quickly.

Meanwhile, it’s invigorating to feel the slight chill of the fall weather that we’ve seen this last week. The water is still warm so it’s easier to stay in as a contrast to the cold air. I noticed two folks enjoying swims at Wades Beach last week.

I visited the Historical Society’s Havens Farmers Market on Saturday and did see fewer vendors, but the number of customers was still strong. Lots of fall vegetables were being offered along with everything else.

I also understand that the snapper fishing is still good with those hungry baby bluefish getting larger each day.

And I received numerous phone calls from friends and relatives commenting on a recent article in the New York Times about the plight of the ferry companies resulting from loss of ridership due to the pandemic. I assured them that I believed the situation would be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction and that I would not be stuck here with no way off the Island.