Trash/5Rs

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Congratulations, Sharon we’re a MassDEP SMART trash town! Over 50% of households now have the 35-gallon trash cart:

Year One:

  • 64% 35-gal
  • 23% 65-gal
  • 13% 96-gal

What are the 5 Rs of waste?

  • Refuse
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle
  • Rot

Why is it good to think about the 5 Rs?

  • To reduce global warming and pollution
  • To save energy
  • To conserve natural resources
  • To protect wildlife
  • For the health of our children
  • To save lives in the world

Here are some tips to help apply the 5 Rs to our everyday lives:

Refuse

  • Saying “no” will eliminate most of your trash – say no to plastic straws, plastic bags, freebies, disposables, etc. If you don’t really need it, don’t get it.
  • Cut back on anything possible, e.g. get off mailing lists. You can opt out of all direct mail companies that use DMA (Data & Marketing Association) here (but notice there is a $2 processing fee for a 10 year registration).
  • Use a Zero Waste Kit and refuse disposable coffee cups and takeout containers. Bring your own instead.
  • Stop using plastic produce bags – use lightweight cloth bags such as these – or make simple ones yourself.

Reduce

  • When you host events, use reusable plates and utensils rather than disposable ones.
  • Use your own washable containers for meals and beverages on-the-go (part of your Zero Waste Kit).
  • Buy food and cleaners in bulk to reduce packaging waste (bring a reusable container).
  • Use durable products, e.g cloth napkins instead of paper.
  • Use items until they wear out.

Reuse

  • If something breaks, repair or have it repaired. Mend your clothes.
  • Shop second-hand, e.g. Buy Nothing or craigslist.
  • Bring reusable bags to the grocery store (it’s helpful to keep a stash in your car), even for vegetables and bulk foods (use lightweight cloth bags such as these).
  • Carry a reusable coffee mug (part of your Zero Waste Kit).
  • Get reusable water bottles for your whole family (they also make great gifts!).
  • Share large appliances (e.g. snowblower, lawn mower) with a neighbor.
  • Share items you no longer need with the community – use Freecycle, for example.
  • Donate items you no longer need that can be used by others, see examples below:

Recycle

  • Make use of Sharon’s SMART curbside recycling program! All town information on trash and recycling collection is here, including the collection calendar.
  • When buying products or packaging, select items that can be easily recycled after their useful life.  Stick with the basics (cardboard, paper, plastic/metal/glass bottles, jugs, cans).  Keep recyclables clean, dry, and place them loose in your recycling cart.
  • The graphic below highlights the core recyclables to put in your recycling cart, which include #2 containers (empty with original caps). The graphic also reminds us about what NOT to put in the cart, especially plastic bags, food/liquid, and items that get tangled in the sorting machinery at the recycling facility.  When in doubt, leave it out.

  • OTHER RECYCLING OPTIONS: ITEMS THAT NEVER GO IN THE CART
    • Electronics: Drop off at Sharon DPW Mon-Thurs 8am-3pm and Fri 8am-12pm (check this page for updates). Items accepted (fees apply): computers, TVs, printers, VCRs, microwaves, scanners. The full list is here.

Also, Best Buy and Staples accept a wide range of electronics and ink cartridges at no charge for recycling, see links here and here.

      • Fluorescent bulbs, thermometers, thermostats, items with mercury: Drop off at Sharon DPW Mon-Thurs 8am-3pm and Fri 8am-12pm.  Mercury containing items must be kept out of the trash: it is toxic to people and wildlife.
      • Plastic bags and film: Most supermarkets have receptacles for recycling, including: retail bags, newspaper bags, bread bags, case wrap, napkin/paper towel/bathroom tissue wrap, diaper wrap, dry cleaning bags, and produce bags.  See this link for details.  PLASTIC BAGS MUST BE KEPT OUT OF CURBSIDE RECYCLING CARTS (they get tangled in machinery at recycling facility and add cost to the process). Plastic bags are among the most difficult items to recycle, so consider using a Zero Waste Kit to avoid using them as much as possible.
      • Scrap metal: Drop off at Sharon DPW Mon-Thurs 8am-3pm and Fri 8am-12pm.  Items accepted at no cost, e.g., gas/charcoal grills, bicycles, lawn mowers, golf clubs, shovels, ladders, toasters, hot water heaters, basketball hoops, metal strollers, metal file cabinets, fans, etc.
      • Tires: Drop off at Sharon DPW Mon-Thurs 8am-3pm and Fri 8am-12pm.  Fee applies. Details can be found here.
      • Large bulky plastics: Accepted once per year for recycling as a special collection during Sharon’s annual Household Hazardous Waste collection event.  Items accepted at no charge: plastic lawn furniture, pails, trash and recycling bins, large toys, pet carriers, plastic shelving, storage totes, milk crates, laundry baskets, etc.
  • Shredded paper: Save your shredded paper in any container to bring to SSC Green Day (May) for use of FREE shredding truck or contact companies like this.

Rot

Have more questions?