DOES IT GO????
After we reduce, reuse, recycle...after we compost...what happens
to what's left?
pays $52 per ton to haul and dispose of trash at Covanta Energy's
SEMASS incinerators in Rochester, MA. $37.50 of this is a contracted
'tipping fee'. Chatham was prudent 23 years ago in capping its
landfill and signing a 30-year contract for garbage incineration
which expires in 2015, a scant 7 years hence. Upon renewal,
our SEMASS tipping fee will more than likely double, and given
today's uncertainties, the cost of haulage from now on will be
We MUST get
serious about reducing the waste going to SEMASS.
and businesses must recycle more. A reasonable goal is
50 % of the waste stream. Chatham's 2006 rate was about 21 %.
2007 numbers are looking better, the official percentage rate
to be reported by the State in April. Recycling is not only the
right thing to do for the environment, but the sale of recyclables
generates revenue for Chatham, as well as removing the cost of
hauling them to SEMASS.
should compost kitchen organics, except fats and oils.
(These should not go down the sink, rather put in the trash or
take relatively clean used vegetable oil to the Recycling Area's
oil shed.) Water is the bulk of the weight of organic materials
and should be removed whenever possible.
hazardous waste should be set aside for Hazardous Waste
Collection dates in Harwich, except mercury which
is accepted at Chatham's Recycling Area. (This includes fluorescent
bulbs old and new; NICAD batteries; some button-cell batteries
from hearing aids and watches; cell phones; ballast resisters;
thermostats; thermometers and smoke detectors.)
is trucked to SEMASS' shred-and-burn facility which incinerates
1million tons of trash per year. This fuels generators which
produce enough electricity to operate the plant and, via NSTAR,
more than 75,000 homes. SEMASS recovers $1,000 in coins per day!
50,000 tons of other recyclable metals are recovered annually.
Ninety per cent of the processed refuse is combusted, leaving
about 100,000 tons of ash residue annually which is landfilled
in Carver, Massachusetts.
The word from
SEMASS? "We are the LAST step, not the first step, in recycling."
For more details,
Have you visited
ChathamRecycles.org yet? Come take a look!
© 2007 by Bob Staake - All Rights Reserved