Recycling isn’t just good for the environment. In Wilmington, it’s mandatory.
Town officials will soon begin strictly enforcing a bylaw that has been in existence for decades. Residents who do not make a genuine effort to recycle will not have their trash picked up.
“It’s really a no brainer,” said Assistant Superintendant Jamie Magaldi. “Most of the people in town are doing their part. The people who aren’t recycling at all, there really isn’t a reason for it anymore. We should be getting at least an effort from everyone in town.”
Town Manager Michael Caira said the reason behind new enforcement is three fold. First, Caira said, is that it’s a fairness issue, better for the environment, and there is a potential savings for the town involved in higher recycling rates.
“I would say the primary reason is not an economic one, it’s an environmental one,” said Caira. “Any economic gain is the icing on the cake.”
Magaldi said the town’s recycling rates have stayed the same over the last several years.
In Fiscal Year 2009 the percentage of recycling out of the total trash stream was 12 percent. This year, the total had only climbed to 13 percent.
Some residents who live alone have expressed concerns because they don’t regularly have a high number of recycling items. But officials said that while they are looking to buckle down, they are also willing to be flexible in these cases.
“We’re not going to be going through trash with a microscope,” said Magaldi. “But we are looking to target people who aren’t even trying. By doing that, we figure the percentage will go up.”
Caira said he has not received a high amount of feedback from the announcement. He did say that more residents have been requesting recycling bins from the DPW, and the number of residents looking for recycling stickers has increased as well.
“It’s caught the attention of a lot of people,” said Caira. “They now understand that this is what they should be doing.”