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Christmas Trees ARE NOT Recyclable

posted Feb 5, 2019, 10:11 AM by Stephen Buckley
As a community, we struggle with too many non-recyclable items placed in curbside recycling carts and in silver bullet containers.
 In last week’s town newsletterwe talked about how this problem led to the silver bullets at Walmart being removed. And, here is a photo of the most recent incident:


That’s an artificial Christmas tree in a curbside recycling cart. Christmas trees, whether live or artificial, are not recyclable and should not be placed in recycling containers. Also, recyclables need to fit entirely inside recycling carts. This cart will not be picked up because it is overloaded with items that cannot be recycled.

Placing non-recyclables in recycling containers is a common problem in Scarborough. Ecomaine is the organization that receives and processes trash and recycling for many Maine towns, and they are starting to charge towns to dispose of recycling loads because of the increased cost to recycle and large amounts of non-recyclable “contamination.” This change at ecomaine is going to impact our municipal budget. In past years, Scarborough has not had to budget for disposal of recyclables, but that will change in the upcoming municipal budget.

Recycling is less expensive and better for the environment than throwing everything in the trash, but recycling only works and saves money if we do it correctly. In the coming months, the Town will “crack down” on improper recycling practices to help reduce our recycling costs. In the meantime, blatant abuses (like the one pictured above) will not be overlooked.

Please do your part by only placing recyclable items in your cart and in the silver bullets. If you’re not sure what can and cannot be recycled, check out Ecomaine's Recyclpedia (available as a mobile app and online). You can also contact Public Works with specific questions: pwinfo@scarboroughmaine.orgor 207-730-4400.