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Braintree Households Receive Recycling Barrels to Boost Participation

Some 2,000 residents in the Highlands section of Braintree will receive the barrels this weekend, part of a push for more recycling in town.

The town will distribute 2,000 recycling barrels to Braintree homes this weekend as part of an effort to increase recycling, helping the environment and municipal finances.

Homeowners in the Highlands section of Braintree will receive the blue barrels on Saturday for use starting on Monday, the neighborhood's regular pickup day. Within a year every household should get the 32-gallon receptacles, Mayor Joseph Sullivan said, as part of an effort to help the environment and further reduce Braintree's waste costs.

Since instituting single-stream recycling three years ago, participation has increased by 14 percent. In fiscal year 2010, the town saved $144,000 by way of recycling rebates and taking waste out of the trash disposal operation, Chief of Staff and Operations Peter Morin .

"We believe we can do better," Sullivan said. "It's not only good for the environment, it's good for our finances."

Four crews from Capitol Waste will distribute the barrels in the Highlands this coming Saturday, weather permitting. Families can still use their existing bins for overflow.

This first batch of barrels cost about $34,000, or $17 per receptacle. The project was funded by recycling revenue that has been saved over the past two years, recycling coordinator Jeffrey Kunz said. As the participation rate increases, Sullivan added, town revenues will also go up.

Ultimately, the mayor said he would like to see Braintree have just one trash pickup day per week.

The next area to receive the barrels has not been selected yet, but may be a section of town with lower participation in order to analyze how the project works, Kunz said. Highlands is second or third in terms of participation.

"It's a win-win," District 6 Town Council Paul "Dan" Clifford said. "Braintree gets the financial benefit and residents get to participate in the ecological benefits."

Adam Ringius August 24, 2011 at 04:56 PM
This is a great program for Braintree and helps us continue to set us apart from other towns on the South Shore. Our continued commitment to recycling and the environment will help keep this town clean and safe for years to come. I commend Mayor Sullivan, Mr. Kunz and all the other people involved with this project on getting this program rolling!
Mary Mitchell August 28, 2011 at 05:59 PM
What a beautiful sight met my eyes yesterday morning as I drove through my neighborhood on my way to the Farmers Market at Braintree Town Hall --- bright, "Braintree-blue" recycling barrels at the foot of every driveway --- I wish I had thought to take a photo. But hopefully they'll all be out on the next pickup day! Most of the packaging that comes into our homes is recyclable -- my husband and I put out a barrel full of recyclables every week and one little grocery-bag-sized bag for our trash. Paper, envelopes, cardboard, plastic and glass bottles and other containers, metal cans -- toss them all together into the blue bin! The Town gets revenue from every ton of recyclables collected, but has to pay for every ton of trash. Let's work together as a community to make recycling work for us!

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