WINCHESTER - The Select Board agreed to adopt and send to State Representative Michael Day a resolution calling on those who produce packages, such as Amazon or a paint company, to bear some of the recycling costs associated with said packages.
Currently, the town pays to recycle. Not long ago, companies paid the town for its recyclables. As things changed, recycling became a cost-negative to the town (one reason the Select Board voted to eliminate the SMART program in January).
As the town won’t simply stop recycling, nor should it as that would harm the planet and increase greenhouse gas emissions and the town’s carbon footprint, the board and Rep. Day felt it made sense to pass on some of the recycling costs to the companies responsible for the packaging residents need to recycle.
As Select Board member Michael Bettencourt noted, recycling costs are almost as high as the cost to remove solid waste.
“This resolution speaks to the economics of recycling,” chair Susan Verdicchio said, “and it’s directed at the (state) legislature.”
Bettencourt added the resolution was non-binding and asked his fellow board members to support it. Select Board member Mariano Goluboff did, saying it made sense as those who produce the materials residents wind up recycling can reduce them. Residents and the town can’t.
Verdicchio also said Maine and Oregon created similar legislation, so if this passes the House and Senate and Governor Charlie Baker signs it into law, Massachusetts won’t be the first state to pass such a measure.