Orange Recycling Committee Actions
By Mark Moyher, ODTC and Recycling Committee member
The Orange Recycling Committee (ORC) was started back around 2009. This dedicated committee currently consists of seven regular members, Mitch Goldblatt (Chairman), Wendy Novick, Loretta Smith, Susan Wineland, Patrick Legault, Chris Prokop, and Mark Moyher, and alternate members Lora Wu and Ilene Moyher.
The Committee generally meets on the third Wednesday of every month to discuss the latest recycling news and prepare for upcoming events. The public is welcome to attend these open meetings. We promote local recycling opportunities and share tips via the Town of Orange and ORC website, as well as the Milford-Orange newspaper and ORC Facebook page. It’s our goal that residents recycle as much as possible to reduce their amount of trash. The Committee members are engaged in leading or participating in fun, educational and productive events throughout the year.
The ORC has been hosting "Shredding Day" at the High Plains Community Center for over a decade, in spring and fall, for town residents to bring their confidential papers and documents to be shredded on-site. The event is free thanks to sponsorship by the Orange Rotary Club. Originally solely for paper shredding, the popular event has expanded to include mattress & box spring recycling, hazardous waste drop-off, and clothing, toys & household Items collection. The next Shredding Day is April 22, 2023, which happens to fall on Earth Day. Get details on what's included here. The event has been heavily promoted including having signs around town as a reminder to residents.
We've partnered with the Mattress Recycling Council to collect and repurpose mattresses and box springs. They have been participating in Shredding Day for the past several years. The Orange Lions Club, for a small donation, picks up mattresses and box springs from residents who have no other way to get them to HPCC. The Orange Community Women also regularly participate, stationed under the Pavilion, to collect clothing and household items residents want to donate. In April 2022 the Committee voted to add HazWaste drop-off to Shredding Day. It generated enough success that we're bringing it back this year.
In 2017, the ORC became a Connecticut WRAP (Wrap Recycling Action Program) Champion with the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). As a result, the ORC secured the Rack `N Pak plastic bag collection system, which is in a shed next to the mixed recyclable container at the Orange Transfer Station & Recycling Center. This allows residents to bring clean dry plastic bags and wrap to be recycled. The Committee also received a DEEP Waste Initiatives Grant for $10,000 which was used to purchase 60 new color-coded Recycling (Blue) and Waste (Brown) bins (30 each) for the High Plains Fairgrounds and other public areas in town, and to replace, expand and upgrade signage at the Orange Transfer Station & Recycling Center.
The ORC also worked with Simple Recycling, headquartered in Ohio, to put a trailer for textile recycling at the Orange Transfer Station and Recycling Center. It unfortunately was not sustainable so we brought back the Goodwill trailer. However, Simple Recycling still collects textiles from a drop box located at High Plains Community Center near the main pavilion. The town is paid per pound for acceptable items (clothing, linens, shoes, and more) that residents place in the bin.
In addition, the ORC has hosted a booth at the Orange Country Fair for years. Committee members engage with visitors to educate them on current recycling news and rules. Our favorite thing is partnering with "Donut Lady" Nadine Gilbert to give a free freshly-made donut to kids who stop at our booth and answer or ask questions about recycling. Everybody greatly enjoys this, especially the kids.
Other activities of note are Committee members volunteering twice a year at HazWaste Central at the Regional Water Authority in New Haven, this year in July and October. We inquire if online forms have been filled out and help direct cars to the residential hazardous waste collection point. In addition, we have volunteered at the Orange Transfer Station & Recycling Center several Saturdays to provide guidance to residents and answer questions, and have toured local recycling centers to observe their processes, as we strive to continually support effective recycling in Orange.
Orange Recycling Committee Annual Report (2021-22)
The Orange Recycling Committee (ORC) had another very active and productive year, continuing to deal with the effects of COVID-19. The ORC facilitated expanded recycling opportunities at the Orange Transfer Station & Recycling Center and within the residential recycling program. The ORC continually promotes local recycling opportunities and shares tips via the Town of Orange and ORC websites (orange-ct.gov and orangerecycles.com), OrangeCTLive.com, The Milford-Orange Times newspaper, and the ORC Facebook page (facebook.com/ORCinCT).
During the 2021-2022 fiscal year, Orange residents recycled 898 tons of material, down 5.7% from the previous year.
Highlights of 2021-2022 Orange Recycling Committee initiatives include:
Volunteered at the Orange Transfer Station & Recycling Center on several Saturdays to provide guidance to residents in proper recycling and answer questions.
Assisted at HazWaste Central at the Regional Water Authority in New Haven in July and October to assist in the orderly collection of residential hazardous waste from the region.
Worked to phase out the textile recycling by Simple Recycling at the Orange Transfer Station & Recycling Center and bring back Goodwill. Simple Recycling continued to accept textiles at a drop box location at High Plains Community Center and pay the Town 5.75 cents per pound for acceptable materials.
Participated once again with a booth at the Orange Country Fair, educating visitors about recycling and distributing wooden rulers to the public.
Toured Oak Ridge Recycling Plant in October as a committee to observe the recycling process from the view of our Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).
Worked with The Home Depot of Orange, to combine with their recycling efforts. They accepted plastic bags and wraps from the Transfer Station & Recycling Center, which were transported three times a week by Orange Recycling Committee volunteers.
Held Paper Shredding & Mattress Recycling events at High Plains Community Center in October and April. In October 2021, residents brought nearly 11,000 pounds of documents to be shredded and 43 mattresses to be repurposed in partnership with the Mattress Recycling Council. In April 2022, another 9,000 pounds of documents were shredded and 33 additional mattresses were collected. The Orange Rotary Club sponsored this event, making it free to residents. In appreciation, many residents donated to the Orange Rotary Club Scholarship Fund. To help residents who could not transport mattresses to the event, members of the Orange Lions Club picked them up at homes, for a small donation.
Facilitated the first ever HazWaste Day held in the Town of Orange in April in conjunction with the Shredding Day and the town’s Bicentennial celebration.
Welcomed Lora Wu to the committee as an alternate member, replacing Karen Della-Giustina, who stepped down after nine years as an alternate.