Then they'll all be hauled away by the Ayer Department of Public Works' new recycling contractor, Casella Waste Systems, to be thoroughly sorted into their respective types and sent to Casella's customers, who incorporate recycled materials into their products. To learn more about just how Casella's process -- known as zero-sort recycling -- works, check out this video of their operation.
The new transfer station setup will feature one big hopper/compactor located roughly where all the multiple bins for individual types of recycling were previously. You'll pull up alongside the hopper, take your personal container of recyclables and empty it into the hopper, move on to the solid-waste area to offload your trash, and that will be that!
"Couldn't be any easier"
John Gamelin, transfer station foreman, says the new process "will cut down on the time it takes residents to do their recycling at the transfer station and make visits here much safer by simplifying the flow of traffic. It couldn't be any easier."
Gamelin notes that the change to the central hopper and the smoother traffic flow are also allowing him to redistribute space at the transfer station to meet other needs. He plans on a few additional parking spaces for the reuse shed and will move the electronics trailer and reserve a few spaces there, as well.
Other changes afoot, according to Gamelin:
- The transfer station will no longer provide bins for separating returnable cans from non-returnables. All cans will now go into the zero-sort hopper for recycling.
- The transfer station is now accepting plastic toys such as Big Wheels and plastic play structures for recycling. These items will NOT go into the zero-sort system, but will be handled separately by Casella.
Ayer is gaining something more than just convenience from this change. "By making recycling easier for residents," said DPW Superintendent Dan Nason (back in March, when the news of the upcoming change first broke), "we are hoping to increase Ayer's recycling numbers, which will save us money and decrease our tonnage of municipal solid waste, which will also yield savings for the town." Not a bad thing for the planet, either!
Wednesday recyclers, please note: The transfer station will be closed on Wednesday, June 30, to prepare for the changeover, but will reopen with the new system in place Saturday, July 3.
New pay-as-you-throw bags available all around town
In related news, bags -- instead of bag ties -- for trash are now available at five locations throughout the town: The DPW office, Aubuchon Hardware, Hannaford, Moore's and Kelly's Hallmark.
"Having multiple locations open weekdays and weekends will make purchasing these bags much more convenient for residents who work late or long hours," says the DPW's Nason.
The new trash bags cost $1 per 15-gallon bag and $1.50 per 30-gallon bag, in unlimited quantities.