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’tis the season to reduce, reuse and recycle

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~ Guest Commentary ~

This is a special time of year – and not necessarily only for gatherings and celebrations. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, Americans produce 25 percent more waste than usual – or 1 million extra tons per week.

During the holidays, and throughout the year, WIN Waste Innovations partners with the Town of Saugus (and other municipalities) to collect and dispose of non-recyclable solid waste in a safe, environmentally friendly way while generating renewable energy.

Saugus is fortunate to have forward-looking leadership that oversees a state-of-the-art waste management system that includes a robust recycling program.  One example is the Town’s Center for Hard To Recycle Materials (CHaRM) facility, the first of its kind in Massachusetts.

Area residents an indispensable part of this system, which is guided by the three Rs of waste management — reduce, reuse and recycle.  And with a little thought and creativity, all of us can make a meaningful contribution to the cause of environmental protection and conservation, especially around the holidays.

Reduce is the most effective approach because it eliminates a problem before it becomes a problem.  One example, preferable to dealing with wrapping paper and cardboard, is to consider “experience” gifts such as tickets to a concert, an IOU to perform household chores or a simple evening “moon walk.”

Food waste is the largest component of municipal solid waste.  Before you start scraping plates into the trash, consider composting, contributing unused food to shelters or pantries, or simply shopping with a plan to avoid over-buying.

One idea that can help the environment while ridding you of a nuisance is to reduce the amount of holiday and other junk mail that you receive.  It takes a little effort, but you might find it well worth it. The place to start is the Federal Trade Commission – consumer.ftc.gov. Stanford University also has a good list of ideas for reducing waste over the holidays – lbre.stanford.edu.

During the holidays, and at all times, WIN Waste Innovations is sure to be on the job — collecting waste that cannot be recycled, providing renewable energy to thousands of homes, reducing greenhouse gases by diverting post-recycled waste from landfills and the truck traffic to haul it there, and supporting the Town’s economic goals and community efforts.  Thank you for doing your part and helping us do ours.

Best wishes for a safe, healthy and successful holiday season and New Year.

(Editor’s Note: This Op-Ed was submitted by WIN Waste Innovations in Saugus)

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