Is The Park and Rec Doing Enough To Encourage Recycling In Orange?

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Sep 272013

Members of the Park and Rec Commission discuss the troublesome letter they received from the Recycling Committee.

Members of the Park and Rec Commission discuss the troublesome letter they received from the Recycling Committee.

The Orange Recycling Committee sent in a letter to be read aloud during the Sept. 25 Park and Rec Commission meeting.

Recycling Chairman Mitch Goldblatt reportedly chastised the Park and Rec department for not having enough recycling containers available during town events at the fairgrounds and Old Tavern Park.

Park and Rec Director Dan Lynch said they have recycling containers all over the place, Old Tavern, High Plains etc.

Goldblatt wrote that the Park and Rec department should go through the containers, take out the garbage and make sure all recyclable materials go to the transfer station.

Park and Rec Commission Chairman Joe Lembo said the Recycling Committee made plans for residents so they should have made plans for the town as well.

The Park and Rec Commission discussed having the roll-away bins like residents have and request a recycling truck come in and pick them up.

Lembo said the letter was curt and quite surprising considering that it was the first time his committee has heard there was a problem.

Jim O’Connor said the letter did not specify what the recycling committee was seeing that caused them to be so upset.

“The key is communication,” Lembo said. “I wish we had received a phone call before they decided to send this letter.”

The Park and Rec Commission plans to get in touch with the Recycling Committee so they can try to iron out all the problems.

Q & A About Recycling Concerns

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Aug 232013

Recycle_Logo_copyRegarding the ongoing concerns about the new recycling system and bins, one resident wrote:

Last week the truck only took one container.  I called and was told that they wont take recycle from any container that isn’t theirs, even though the one I have is similar especially measuring the same at the pick up points.  The recycle site on the town page say NOTHING about this.  I was told I could buy another one from the company for $50 !  Twice what I paid for my own.

Now this week they just passed it right by!

There is nothing wrong in there ( by the way the web site both says to include pizza boxes and that they cannot be included.  So I only put clean ones in there.

Recycling Committee Chairman Mitch Goldblatt responded:

I understand your frustration with the new bins. For those of us, who find the new bins too small, we offer the following suggestions:

1)      Try to compact recyclables expecially boxes and plastic milk jugs.

2)      Redeem your cans and bottles that deposits have been paid on.

3)      Utilize the Transfer Station which still accepts all recyclables six days a week.

4)      Purchase an additonal bin from City Carting.

It looks like you have already explored the last option, but please understand that our contract with City Carting includes delivery of one bin to every residential home and an option to purchase additonal bins. Per our contract, only their bins will be picked up due to the automated machinery being used and any liability clauses.

We have actually reduced the cost of curbside pickup with the new contractor due to the reduced labor costs. Only one person-the driver-is needed to operate the truck and pick up the bins with the automated lifting device.

I can’t explain why they did not pick up either bin, though. You should contact them directly or speak to the Public Works Department at (203) 891-4712.

We have tried to get as much information to residents as possible with the bins. We did not expect people to buy their own bins and the brochure that went out did say that the new bins “replaced” the old ones.

Our web page http://www.orange-ct.gov/govser/recycling.htm does say that pizza boxes should not be included.

This is because they are usually soiled and cannot be recycled. However if they are clean please include them and often times, at least the tops are unsoiled and can be recycled if they are separated from the rest of the box.

Thank you for writing and I applaud your efforts to recycle as much as you can!

Recycling Blues: Tell Orange Live Your Concerns, We’ll Get Answers

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Aug 222013

Earth's best friend

Earth’s best friend

Since the town of Orange switched over to the new single-stream recycling system, residents have been sending Orange Live questions, concerns and complaints — mostly through Facebook.

One resident said that she is concerned because people don’t know how to use the new bins.

“There is only one man on the truck now, not a crew. He pulls up and an arm comes down, picks up the bin and dumps it, but if residents place the bin too close to their mailbox or facing the wrong way, or over fill it, the driver has to get out and move it which is a waste of time,” she said. “We need clear answers on what we’re supposed to do so the process works the way it should.”

Others complain about their recyclables being left behind after falling out of the bin, asking “who’s going to clean it up?”

There are so many questions and concerns and if I , or the recycling committee answers each one individually,  as Mitch has been doing on his own, others with the same problem may not see it.

So, instead of trying to address each one on a personal basis, Orange Live and Recycling Committee Chairman Mitch Goldblatt are teaming up to get you the answers you need all in one place.

We are asking that you e-mail your questions or comments to Orange Live at orangectlive01@gmail.com and I will forward them to Mitch.

Then Mitch will address all of them here on Orangectlive.com (cross post on Orange Live on Facebook).

This will begin immediately and hopefully, in a very short time everyone will know exactly what they are to do when recycling in Orange.

Meeting Notes: Park & Rec July 2012

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Jul 292012

The Park & Rec Commission gathers before its July 25 meeting.

The Park & Recreation Commission meeting on July 25 was fairly brief, but contained items of interest, particularly a discussion regarding recycling.

This month, newly appointed commission member Jim Ronai was present and participated in the conversations.

During the public participation portion, the commission welcomed Kathryn Lafontana from the Orange Recycling Committee.

Lafontana  said the town of Orange is still below goal in its recycling contributions, according to the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA).
She said some residents are still not aware of how easy the single stream recycling system is to use.

Lafontana  said the recycling committee wants the town to have an equal number of recycling and trash bins at public venues.

Chairman Joe Lembo said that two members of the commission who were most familiar with the recycling issue were not present at the meeting. He added that gray recycling bins with special tops have been placed in several locations around town, including ballfields and the Orange Fairgrounds only to have them stolen or have trash mixed in with the recyclable bottles and cans.

Committee member Steve Bespuda confirmed this, stating that several were bought for the school at High Plains, but only two were left.

“It’s a great idea,” he said, “but it doesn’t always work right because people put trash in them. The tops disappeared from some of them that were placed at the Orange Country Fair last year.”

Lafontana  said that the Recycling Committee applied for and received a grant from the Orange Foundation with which it would buy some recycling recepticals.

He added that someone will have to keep track of the recycling bins during events so they are emptied when they fill up. “Otherwise, people will start throwing recyclables in the trash if they can’t get them into a recycling bin,” he said.

Lembo said the Park and Rec would be willing to purchase some, but their resources were limited at the time because the budget for the current fiscal year already has been approved.

“We will keep an open dialogue and try to work something out,” Lembo said. “During a past discussion (commission member) Nick Bencivengo said he noticed at Old Tavern Park that bees are often attracted to soda cans. So placing them where the bees won’t bother people is important.”

Lafontana  said education is a big part of the recycling committee’s goal.

“We put together a recycling video (with a song written by Al deCant) and marched in the Memorial Day Parade with a recycling bin to raise awareness and to get more people to recycle at home,” she said. “We want to have a big presence at the Orange Country Fair this year — distributing literature and answering questions so everyone knows what they can now recycle.”


Bespuda said while driving around he’s noticed more people putting recycling bins out for pick up.

Ronai said he’s notice people in different areas of town picking through the bins and containers to get the refundable cans and bottles.