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Trumbull conservationists: Survey says

Trumbull's Conservation Department is pushing the single-stream recycling program, according to a recent press release.

The Trumbull Conservation Commission is partnering with the new Recycling Coordinator to conduct a community survey to gauge awareness and interest in recycling efforts in Trumbull.  The results of the survey will be used to develop an outreach program to increase participation in the new single stream recycling program that went into effect last October. 

Single Stream Recycling allows for the combining of all recycled materials into a single bin on the homeowner's end, simplifying the first step in the process -- collection -- for both homeowners and curbside haulers. 

Because sorting of materials in done at dedicated facilities, single stream also allows for the collection of more materials including all plastics (#1 - #7) whereas the town used to only be able to collect #1 and #2 plastics.  In addition to more plastics, the program now allows for curbside pickup of all corrugated cardboard and boxboard (e.g. cereal boxes).  "The addition of cardboard to curbside recycling pickup is a huge increase in service for residents who used to have to bring boxes from online shopping purchases to the transfer station if they wanted to recycle them at all", said Mary Ellen Lemay, Chairman of the Conservation Commission.  

Many residents remain unaware of the October changes to the recycling program and the many benefits to them personally and the town overall, so the Conservation Commission will join forces with Robin Bennett, new Trumbull Recycling Coordinator, formerly of the  CT DEEP, to undertake a number of outreach programs to get the word out.  The first step is learn what people know already, so they are conducting a town wide survey of people's knowledge and recycling habits (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K3QC6ZY).  "It is important that we establish what people are comfortable with now, and where we have some educating to do.  The survey will establish that baseline, so we can also chart our progress over time", said Commissioner Scot Kerr who along with Jim Sullivan comprises the recycling sub-committee of the Conservation Commission.

Commissioner Sullivan added, "Because the town pays to dispose of trash, but actually collects revenue by selling recyclables, we all can save the town money by simply moving recyclable material from one bin to the other.”  Sullivan, an analyst with the US EPA,  went on to say that based on historical costs and volumes, even a modest shift in materials could approach $1mm in savings to the town, not to mention the positive impact on the environment.

The Town’s new Recycling Coordinator, Robin Bennett, is looking forward to working closely with the Conservation Commission. “I am impressed with the dedication and willingness of the Commission’s members to focus on such a worthwhile endeavor for increasing recycling in Trumbull. I look forward to working with them on outreach through the schools, community groups and local media to help spread the message that recycling is a win-win for the environment and for the residents of Trumbull. I encourage everyone to participate in the survey to kick things off.”

The survey is available online at the link below.  Hard copies of the survey are available at the Town Hall and Trumbull Library.  For more information regarding the single stream recycling program please contact Mary Ellen Lemay at melemay@earthlink.net  or Robin Bennett at (203) 452-5056 or rbennett@trumbull-ct.gov.

Link to online survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K3QC6ZY.

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